Like Coffee? Then You Love The Black-Throated Blue Warbler

by Matthew Kellso November 03, 2014 2 min read

Like Coffee? Then You Love The Black-Throated Blue Warbler

The Coffee Berry Borer, a small beetle native to many coffee farms, is the most feared enemy of any coffee farmer. These bugs are tiny, in fact, they can be as small as a couple of millimeters in length. They typically attack the coffee cherry by burrowing a very small hole in the top of the coffee berry.

In recent years, this beetle has become more prevalent and is wrecking havoc on many coffee crops. In the last few years, these beetles have been found in coffee regions and elevations where they never resided in the past. Coffee Berry Borers are a real problem to the coffee industry and are the topic of much research and discussion. However, with respect to your stomach, we will not describe the beetle with any more detail.

Black-Throated Blue Warbler, A Coffee Roaster's Best FriendWe want to focus on a solution. There are many potential ways to combat the Berry Borer, but what is beginning to be proven as the optimal solution both for the coffee and the planet, is to create an environment that allows for the beetle's natural predators to do their job. That's where the Black-throated Blue Warblers come in.

In studies, they are one of a few birds that consistently reduce the problems caused by the Berry Borers in coffee crops. These birds live in trees, not coffee trees, but the kind that provides a nice protective canopy over the coffee tree. That means farms that work hard to create a good shaded environment for their coffee trees have had success in establishing the right habitat for these predators.

Recently, I've been studying the coffee farming process quite a bit. I find the science that goes into coffee growth fascinating. Not only the topics about the growth of the coffee cherry but also the strong ecological environment to help create a natural, sustainable farm. It is also interesting how many farms may not be 'organically certified,' but practice natural organic methods to grow our coffee. There are many conscientious farmers that would rather allow a small bird to kill a bug than buy a pesticide to take care of it.

So if you love coffee, you love the Black-throated Blue Warblers. These little guys save millions of coffee cherries each season.

Matthew Kellso
Matthew Kellso



Also in Sagebrush Coffee Education

Sagebrush Coffee's Coffee Classifications Explained: Brown vs. Gold vs. Black Label
Sagebrush Coffee's Coffee Classifications Explained: Brown vs. Gold vs. Black Label

by Matthew Kellso January 17, 2020 4 min read

If you have perused our website, you might have noticed that we categorize our coffees by two different labels: Gold and Black. I have received several emails recently asking what these labels mean and how we choose to classify our coffee. Like wine, there is a hierarchy when it comes to the beans and the coffee it brews. 
Read More
A Thoughtful Coffee Bag Redesign | By Jonathan Kellso
A Thoughtful Coffee Bag Redesign | By Jonathan Kellso

by Matthew Kellso November 29, 2019 5 min read

Today is a big day for Sagebrush: as we are heading into the holiday season, we are implementing our coffee bags’ new look!

Here’s a little mini-essay giving the complete rundown on our thought process behind absolutely every move we’ve made in this redesign process, and how you, the valued customer, are benefitting from all of this.

Read More
Washed-Coffee: The Most Popular Processing Method
Washed-Coffee: The Most Popular Processing Method

by Zoe Maiden October 18, 2019 3 min read

     When you purchase a bag of coffee (preferably from Sagebrush), you will notice three primary descriptors: the roast profile, flavor notes, and processing method. The processing method is a factor that is relatively unknown and often overlooked by coffee consumers, yet it is critical to the overall flavor profile of coffee. In a brief description, a processing method refers to the technique used to transform a ripe coffee cherry into the green coffee exported to roasters. How coffee is plucked, washed, and dried will influence the mouthfeel, aroma, and taste. There are three processing techniques coffee producers use: Natural (or dry), Honey (or pulped natural), and the widely popular, Washed (or wet) process. Today, we will further discuss the washed processing method.
Read More

Join Our Over 10k Subscribers!

Coffee Grinds Explained

We currently offer 4 different coffee grind levels.  Listed below with descriptions.

Whole Bean: Unground coffee for a home grinder.

Coarse: Think sugar in the raw, maybe more coarse, recommended for Chemex Brewer, French Press, Cold Brew

Medium: Slightly coarser than table salt, recommended for Metal Kone filters, Flat bottom brewers including Kalitta, Cloth filters

Fine:  Slightly finer than table salt, recommended for V60 pour overs, Cone filter coffee pots, Moka Pot, Aeropress.

Extra Fine: Like powdered sugar, recommended for Espresso.

If at all possible, we recommend grinding at home. We prefer Baratza coffee grinders and offer several of their models for sale. Click here to shop for one of their brewers.