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Stewards For Taste

Ninety Plus® Coffee is a grower and producer of single-origin, single-variety coffee in both Panama and Ethiopia. We are dedicated to creating a remarkable taste experience through process innovation. At our core is a connection to nature, best social practices and working to fix a broken system through creating canopy and restoration ecology. We are stewards for taste committed to leaving coffee better than we found it.

Core Values

As a global coffee grower and producer, we are at the forefront of engineering elevated taste experiences for consumers through our innovative processing methods. We are committed to fixing a broken farm model, leaving coffee better than we found it, with guiding principles of taste, humanity, and ecology.

Taste

Ninety Plus believes in the power of taste. In our beginnings, we hunted among existing specialty lots for coffee that tasted extraordinary, and when our pursuit failed, we knew creating meaningful coffee was our destiny. Taste quickly became our vision, and we began developing the first scientific coffee production operation driven by the discovery of flavor. To this day, we aren’t afraid to take risks or break boundaries, and we continue challenging the traditional practices of cherry and coffee processing with the intent of upgrading the industry’s status quo. However, through experience, we’ve realized that we can’t create new flavors without having a fundamentally collaborative work ethic, a humanistic communal culture, and an outstanding relationship with the land. We’re driven to elevate taste with the knowledge that coffee can be treated better, and we’re proud to say that we’ve successfully established a menu of memorable experience, rather than simply coffee.

Taste

Ninety Plus believes in the power of taste. In our beginnings, we hunted among existing specialty lots for coffee that tasted extraordinary, and when our pursuit failed, we knew creating meaningful coffee was our destiny. Taste quickly became our vision, and we began developing the first scientific coffee production operation driven by the discovery of flavor. To this day, we aren’t afraid to take risks or break boundaries, and we continue challenging the traditional practices of cherry and coffee processing with the intent of upgrading the industry’s status quo. However, through experience, we’ve realized that we can’t create new flavors without having a fundamentally collaborative work ethic, a humanistic communal culture, and an outstanding relationship with the land. We’re driven to elevate taste with the knowledge that coffee can be treated better, and we’re proud to say that we’ve successfully established a menu of memorable experience, rather than simply coffee.

Humanity

For centuries, traditional coffee farm workers have lived impoverished lives and suffered from low wages and belittlement in the workplace. Ninety Plus challenges these standards by making humanity a priority, providing fair pay and living conditions for its growing workforce, and establishing a culture built on taste, education, and collaboration on its farms. With education at the center, we create new opportunities, incentives to advance, and competitive compensation for our employees. Subsequently, our workers gain ownership over their work, their quality of life and happiness improve, and our coffee excels. With this structure, we’ve constructed an expanding community of farm workers who are united and inspired by the common objective to improve coffee.

Humanity

For centuries, traditional coffee farm workers have lived impoverished lives and suffered from low wages and belittlement in the workplace. Ninety Plus challenges these standards by making humanity a priority, providing fair pay and living conditions for its growing workforce, and establishing a culture built on taste, education, and collaboration on its farms. With education at the center, we create new opportunities, incentives to advance, and competitive compensation for our employees. Subsequently, our workers gain ownership over their work, their quality of life and happiness improve, and our coffee excels. With this structure, we’ve constructed an expanding community of farm workers who are united and inspired by the common objective to improve coffee.

Ecology

Ninety Plus recognizes the importance of reforesting and preserving agricultural lands. When we first launched our operation, we knew that we could become an example for the rest of the world by shattering the boundaries of traditional commodity coffee farming. As a result, we set our sights on formulating a distinctly unique coffee experience, entered into a relationship with nature, and put the spotlight on ecology. Presently, we’re dedicated to growing long-living, heirloom varieties that thrive under 100 percent natural management techniques, conserve biodiversity, and maximize the health of the ecosystem and its inhabitants. We cultivate shade-loving plants at low density areas with native forest canopy trees and consistently achieve exceptionally flavorful coffee varieties. Yet, the reward goes beyond the coffee itself. Today, the vegetation and animals are flourishing, and what were once overgrazed farms are now prosperous forests that are sustained by restoration, topsoil and water retention, increased environmental variance, and a community of residential and seasonal workers.

Ecology

Ninety Plus recognizes the importance of reforesting and preserving agricultural lands. When we first launched our operation, we knew that we could become an example for the rest of the world by shattering the boundaries of traditional commodity coffee farming. As a result, we set our sights on formulating a distinctly unique coffee experience, entered into a relationship with nature, and put the spotlight on ecology. Presently, we’re dedicated to growing long-living, heirloom varieties that thrive under 100 percent natural management techniques, conserve biodiversity, and maximize the health of the ecosystem and its inhabitants. We cultivate shade-loving plants at low density areas with native forest canopy trees and consistently achieve exceptionally flavorful coffee varieties. Yet, the reward goes beyond the coffee itself. Today, the vegetation and animals are flourishing, and what were once overgrazed farms are now prosperous forests that are sustained by restoration, topsoil and water retention, increased environmental variance, and a community of residential and seasonal workers.

Latest Understory

Fix a Broken System

Six years ago I saw the hidden potential awaiting us in Panama and made an overriding commitment to listen to what and how coffee wants to be. By entering into a relationship with the coffee plant, I was compelled to factor in the coffee plant’s entire ecology—biological, social and economic—to create a distinctly unique coffee experience.


The day we started, this land was an overgrazed cattle farm backed by forests. Today, it’s a rainforest in process with a recovering forest in the foreground. Every time we return, the plants and animals are increasing, the ecosystem is recovering, the coffee gets better, people are better paid, and we’ve got better tastes to work with.

Everything I had seen on our farm in Ethiopia – the critical need for canopy and shaded coffee understory– I saw could be recreated at our Gesha Estates farm in Panama. I knew that would take time but incrementally we could chart our own territory and be an example for everyone else in the rest of the world.

The beauty of the farm goes far beyond the coffee and the restoration project. Ninety Plus Gesha Estates is on 182 hectares (449 acres) with one third being mature forest. The balance of the land is under restoration. The farm is sited on a unique strip of land bridging the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. The weather generated from both sides creates an incredible diversity of habitats and microclimates as the winds converge from both oceans. We have one large river and two smaller ones – all of them pristine. Nestled close to the biggest volcano in the country we benefit from high elevations producing great coffee.

We are six years along the journey and the rewards are felt every time we come back. You can see and feel the changes. Even though it will take decades, it is decade’s worth of enjoyment and measurable change that you can feel on a daily basis in the people, the land and the coffee.

To take a broken system and replace it with something that comes alive – immediately, for you, it has been the most incredible reward. Nature is conspiring with us – you can feel it.

More Understory Posts

1608, 2016

Fix a Broken System

Six years ago I saw the hidden potential awaiting us in Panama and made an overriding commitment to listen to what and how coffee wants to be. By entering into a relationship with the coffee [...]

1807, 2016

Barista Hustle Subscription

As part of our first collaborative work with the Sensory Lab/St ALi family, we are pleased to announce that Matt Perger chose to offer a Ninety Plus Taste Profile, Juliette, as the first in his [...]

807, 2016

The Alchemist: Semeon Abay

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013, Joseph Brodsky held a blind cupping of prospective coffees for a select panel of his Ninety Plus Makers. Attending was Ninety Plus’ Ethiopian field director Semeon Abay who was [...]

Our Films

Makers Film – Ethiopia

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Understory Film: Panama

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Coffee Story: Ethiopia

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Coffee Connection Football Club Film

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