Genesee resident Eria Tharchen thinks coffee drinkers should know where their daily cup (or three) comes from.
So she’s spent the last year working to launch a new Golden-based business that will allow them to do just that.
“My vision is to really connect people to the exact farm they are buying from so that they know the estate and really feel they are buying directly from the farm,” Tharchen said. “That’s really rare for your everyday coffee drinker.”
All of the coffee sold by Tharchen’s business, Himalayan Coffee Importers, will be sourced from the Plantec Coffee Farm in Nepal.
Tharchen, who is married to a Nepalese man, said she chose to start the business, in large part, because she wanted to share that nation’s unique and high-quality coffee with an American audience.
“A lot of people don’t know Nepal grows and produces world class coffee,” said Tharchen. “Coffee connoisseurs know but most people don’t.”
Nepal’s high northern latitude makes it unique among coffee growing nations and gives the beans grown there a unique flavor profile that Tharchen describes as being fruity and flowery with notes of jasmine and citrus.
But while Tharchen wants to help spread the reputation of Nepali java among coffee drinkers, she also has other goals for the business that go beyond the actual beans it sells.
“I could never run a business that has no social impact,” she said.
At Himalayan Coffee Importers, that impact will come directly through donations to several causes that are close to Tharchen’s heart, including Mount Everest cleanup, snow leopard conservation and programs that help US veterans.
However, she says she hopes a large impact will also come from the way Himalayan Coffee Importers does business as Plantec aims to provide fair wages and safe working conditions to those employs and also grows all shade-grown coffee (beans grown under the shade of a tree canopy), which encourages reforestation.
But the business will also have a particularly strong impact on one population in particular, Eria’s husband, Sherap, said.
“In Nepal, 90 percent of the people working in the coffee industry are woman and so this gives employment to women, especially in the villages, and that’s an amazing project,” he said.
Himalayan Coffee Roasters beans are currently available on its website himalayancoffees.com, where beans are sold in 12-ounce bags that start out at $28.95. There are several different roast varieties available and the site also sells unroasted coffee beans. Samples of each variety can also be ordered for $2.
While that might sound steep, Tharchen says her coffee beans are more expensive than other brands for good reason.
“With most commercial there are machines that pick and sort and do all the work,” she said. “With our beans there are people who sit on the estate and individually sort every single bean and filter them so they are all the same size and color and free of defects for even flavor and roasting.”
While Tharchen said she is currently focused on selling directly to consumers, she also wants to supply beans to stores, coffee shops, and even super markets. She is also working on making her coffee available on Amazon.
But while Tharchen is just getting started, Margaret Lee, the owner of the warehouse where the coffee is being stored, said it is only a matter of time before she begins making a serious mark on the coffee scene.
“Everybody has coffee but this is a new coffee,” Smith said. “It’s smooth and it’s a dark coffee but it’s not bitter at all.”