Zoo brews up wildlife-friendly coffee opening
A brand-new way for coffee-loving Melburnians to help save wildlife has been launched at Melbourne Zoo.
Orangutans, monkeys, and tree kangaroos will directly benefit from the four varieties of shade-grown coffee that Zoos Victoria has created in partnership with Melbourne-based family-owned business Genovese Coffee.
Melburnians consume more than 22 million cups of coffee at home each week, however this can impact biodiversity through the clearing of forests.
Zoos Victoria CEO Dr Jenny Gray said shade-grown Coffee for Wildlife products supported farmers, protected forests and saved wildlife. The beans are sourced from partners in Ethiopia, Sumatra and Papua New Guinea who know the importance of wildlife conservation.
“Rainforests are rich in biodiversity – this is where you get all kinds of amazing animals living,” Dr Gray said. “That is why we have looked for farmers with the same ethic we have, the same ethic of protecting biodiversity into the future.”
Rather than rapidly growing coffee in the sun, which removes habitat where wildlife lives, shade-grown Coffee for Wildlife is grown beneath rainforest tree canopies.
While it takes longer for the coffee to ripen in the shade, this also produces more complex and delicious flavours and, importantly, preserves precious wildlife habitat.
Genovese Coffee managing director Adam Genovese said this shade-grown form of coffee production provided a livelihood to communities around the world.
“When grown in a genuinely sustainable way, coffee plantations can benefit the environment, support local communities and produce a great brew,” Mr Genovese said.
Dr Gray said everyone had a role to play in protecting the planet’s biodiversity – whether that’s through the coffee we consumed or any other product we purchased.
“What we can do with every purchase is think carefully about its impact. We have done some of the thinking for you through Coffee for Wildlife products. So, we have sourced coffee that is good for wildlife and good for you,” Dr Gray said.
The Zoo’s Ethiopian coffee is a chocolatey single origin from the forests of Ethiopia, while protecting the home of vulnerable Vervet Monkeys. The Sumatran beans have a spice and herbal freshness and are sourced to protect Orangutan habitat.
The Papua New Guinean coffee has a honey sweetness with a hint of almond and helps protect species including the Matschie’s tree Kangaroo.
The Survival blend is a unique blend of all three single origin coffees that tastes like bergamot and blueberry with a light body and mild acidity.
Coffee for Wildlife products are packaged in certified at-home compostable bags, which are biodegradable along with the coffee grounds.
All coffee consumed at Melbourne Zoo and other Zoos Victoria properties is served in biodegradable cups, with the cups, coffee grounds and Coffee for Wildlife packaging processed in the Zoo’s industrial composter.
Coffee for Wildlife products can be purchased at Zoos Victoria shops, the online Zoos Victoria store and the Genovese website.
A new coffee brew is helping to protect the environment and wildlife worldwide. •
Photos: Zoos Victoria.