Typical coffee is anything but carbon-neutral. It takes about four pounds of CO2 to produce a pound of coffee, so every cup you drink is adding pretty significantly to your carbon footprint.
But at least one coffee roaster is trying to do something about that. Tiny Footprint Coffee is taking steps to reduce that carbon footprint, and they claim their coffee will ultimately even have a negative footprint. So, it’s coffee that tastes good and does good.
How it’s eco-friendly. Tiny Footprint Coffee is a collaboration between an artisan coffee roaster in Minneapolis and the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, a non-profit conservation organization in Ecuador. The roaster donates money to the foundation for every pound of coffee sold, and the foundation uses the money to reforest the Mindo cloud forest. Eventually, these trees will remove way more carbon from the atmosphere than was initially needed to produce the coffee.
The reforestation efforts are concentrated in the northwestern Andes in an area that has been heavily deforested. In addition to holding carbon, the trees are providing habitat for local birds, helping with soil conservation, and rebuilding water tables. The project is also providing jobs for local residents.
Tiny Footprint Coffee is sourced from sustainably grown Arabica coffee beans from around the world. The company only buys shade-grown, organic-certified beans, and most of the beans they buy are fair-trade or Rain Forest Alliance certified. The company also buys from small family growers who aren’t eligible for fair-trade status.
The company’s roastery is striving to be carbon-negative, too. Among the steps the company has taken to reduce its own carbon footprint: high-efficiency lighting, fuel-efficient upgrades to its vintage Probat coffee roaster, and composting coffee grounds.
Eco-friendly is good, but let’s get to the important question: How does the coffee taste? The roaster tests each crop before purchasing it and the coffee is a blend of light and dark roasts along with some Ethiopian coffees. Tiny Footprint Coffee is crafted for cold brewing with a flavor profile that includes fruit and floral notes in a cocoa-like body, resulting in silky richness.