What's In A Name?
For two finicky individuals like Dan and I, both super-passionate about coffee, one of the most challenging things to do in starting-up Blue Lava Coffee Roasters was to agree on the name of the company.
The relationship between coffee and volcanoes is well documented. Coffee thrives in an environment that has the right altitude, year-round moderate temperatures, and a soil that contains a wide variety of essential elements. It's no surprise then that some of the most famous coffee regions around the globe are in areas with past or current volcanic activity. Volcanoes provide exactly what coffee shrubs require -- the ideal altitude and temperatures -- and a soil that is young and rich with nutrients. It was a 'no-brainer' then to associate our little coffee start-up with a volcano. Plus, volcanoes are just, plain cool!
But, which volcano exactly? That simple question led us to discover the magic of Kawah Ijen.
Kawah Ijen is a stunning and unique volcano in Indonesia. It dazzles thousands of visitors each year with its electric-blue fire that can be seen streaming down the mountain at night giving the impression that it's lava. Adventurists explore its waterfalls, hot springs, and dramatic volcanic scenery. The sulfur mine near the volcano employs about 300 miners who face excruciating heat, toxic fumes, and carry huge loads in exchange for about five dollars a trip. The Kawah Ijen crater lake, at the top of the volcano, is the world's largest body of hydrochloric acid.
Amazingly, coffee plantations cover much of the Ijen caldera floor. The region produces over a million pounds of coffee per year ... and, over time, the name of this small island - Java - has practically become synonymous for the word 'coffee', itself.
In the end, we were inspired, and in awe, of this volcano and its rare, "Blue Lava". And we sure hope that you find our coffee as authentic and as unique as Kawah Ijen.
-- mike --