BROOKLYN CENTER, MN —

 

Tiny Footprint Coffee, the world’s first carbon-negative coffee, has crossed the $100,000 threshold in its funding toward the reforestation of the Mindo Cloudforest in Ecuador.

 

In partnership with the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, Tiny Footprint has donated a portion of its coffee sales to the foundation’s reforestation projects, resulting in the planting of more than 74,000 trees in the Cloudforest since 2010, when the coffee was launched.

 

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In funding the reforestation of the Mindo Cloudforest, Tiny Footprint Coffee is able to credibly offset the carbon footprint in creates in the production and distribution of its coffee. With each pound of coffee sold, Tiny Footprint donates a portion toward the planting of trees, which, throughout their lifetime, will take out 54 pounds of carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

 

“It makes me smile thinking about how something that was just an idea in 2009 is now Tiny Footprint Coffee,” said Alan Krohnke, co-founder and co-owner of Tiny Footprint Coffee. “We’re making a difference in people’s lives, enhancing bio-diversity and fighting climate change all by having fun producing delicious, sustainable coffee. We could not have done it without a whole lot of people: the farmers and coffee pros in source countries; our talented team members; our incredible wholesale customers; and most importantly their customers — the people who drink our coffee day in and day out.”

 

In Ecuador, the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation has been able to contribute to the local economy through job creation and nursery sales beyond the project itself. The reforestation and preservation also contributes to habitat creation in one of the wettest and most bio-diverse places on the planet, an area that includes five BirdLife International Important Bird Areas (IBA).

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As Tiny Footprint continues to donate, the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation plans to maintain its educational programs for researchers and students across the globe, in addition to continuing reforestation efforts in the Valley of Mindo and in Milpe.

 

Tiny Footprint’s environmental impact goes beyond the partnership with Mindo. By selling coffee to a growing community of sustainability-minded coffee retailers and coffee drinkers, Tiny Footprint is able to help bring an impact closer to individuals.

 

“Looking forward, I’m humbled by the task of making Tiny less “tiny” and more impactful for all of our partners and fans.” Krohnke added.

 

To learn more about Tiny Footprint Coffee, visit www.tinyfootprintcoffee.com.

 



As many of you know, Tiny Footprint recently sent me (Thomas) to Peru to get a first hand look (and taste) of the culture of coffee in Peru. We have been buying the same coffee from CenfroCafe in Jaén, Peru for the last four years, and we have good reason. If you are in need of a clean, balanced cup of coffee that you can drink all day long, the Peru APU is what you are looking for. Below is a glimpse into the Cenfrocafe warehouse. The blue bags are the APU, the coffee we buy. As you can see it’s a small percentage of the total amount of coffee they sell.

peru-coffee-bags-cenfro-cafe

Right now, the APU is among the best coffee coming out of Peru. Higher scoring coffees receive higher premiums, which allow farmers to not just subsist – but flourish. Not only do the APU lots give the farmer an incentive to take the steps necessary to increase the quality of their coffee (higher premiums), but it shows us as coffee drinkers that Peru is capable of producing high quality coffee.

Relative to their neighboring countries, Peru is a newbie in the specialty coffee world. There are a few main reasons for Peru’s slower climb to the speciality coffee realm. For one, there isn’t a national organized body to represent Peru’s coffee industry as a whole. Adding this body of organization has made a big difference on quality in other countries, such as Colombia. Such a central organizing body helps coordinate among different regions and stakeholders throughout the supply chain to make the processes more efficient.

 

peru-cenfrocafe

The coffee infrastructure in Peru is also still developing. Most producers are doing their own wet processing and drying on their own land, which makes consistency difficult to manage on a large scale. Adding to the difficulty, these farm locations are often many miles from the coffee drop off locations. The producer must either bring his coffee to town right after drying, which is often inefficient, or he must wait to fill an entire truck, resulting in an even longer waiting period. The coffee can sit out on the drying bed (usually a tarp on the ground) for so long that repeated wetting and drying occurs – degrading the potential of the bean.

 

These are not impossibly high hurdles, especially with the dedication of the farmers. The villages we visited on this trip were committed to investing in better infrastructure (namely, raised drying screen with rain covers) in order to improve the quality of the cup, which would ultimately raise the producer’s premiums. The coffee we purchase from CenfroCafe is Fair Trade certified but these quality premiums are essential to improving the quality of life for the producers that help us wake up in the morning.

 

Yet understanding the local culture around the coffee is just as important as understanding the industry itself. We were able to spend an entire afternoon with the people of Corrazon de Jesus – dancing and sharing a meal high in the mountain, 1850 meters up. While in the city itself—in between cuppings of course—we spent time at local restaurants and attractions— we even went the zoo.

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It was an incredibly humbling experience to see coffee from the other end. As a specialty wholesaler, we don’t often get to interact with the coffee drinker, but even less so the producers. Again, we are reminded that—despite the distance—we all play a larger role in each other’s lives than we may think, from farmer, to roaster, to you.