Coffee is an integral part of our daily lives. It can make or break a great meal. It can be an essential part of a great recipe. Coffee can remind us of a great experience on vacation or with friends and family. Coffee can also bridge cultures, religions and politics bringing people together in ways that many of us may never consider when buying our morning cup of joe.
From the person preparing your morning coffee to the picker in the field, the coffee industry employs over 25 million people worldwide. The second most traded product in dollars next to petroleum, coffee is the economic back bone of many countries around the world. There are many pioneers within this important industry that have made every effort to bring this product to consumers in the most ethical, socially responsible, and environmental friendly way. It is important to know that although the coffee industry is far from perfect, I personally have not seen an industry so aware of it's situation and working closely with all involved to improve itself on a daily basis.
In a day and age when many of us are unsure where our food comes from, what its ingredients are and how it is processed, the coffee industry is truly a leader in transparency. Cup of Excellence, FairTrade, Farm Direct, Coffee Kids, Bird Friendly, USDA Organic Certified and Utz Kapeh are just a few of the Organizations and terms that are currently available for consumers to know exactly how and where their cup of coffee comes from and how it is produced. These organizations are important tools for the coffee roaster as well, insuring environmental, economic and social benefits throughout the process of getting coffee to the consumer. The coffee industry as a whole is quickly moving away from cause related products to methods and standards that are part of daily business. The industry as a whole is improving the overall process while building sound and ethical business relationships that benefit all involved, from tree to cup. In the current "Specialty" coffee industry the relationship with the product and the people that produce it has become paramount creating a vanguard for change.
As one can see, there are many different ways that a roaster can insure that he or she is operating an ethical business. It is for this reason that the consumer must be aware that the small independent coffee roaster can not afford to be involved in every organization. Be sure to ask your coffee shop what their buying practices are. Most roasters are more than happy to explain why they choose one organization, term or label over another.
At the end of the day, the coffee must be of superior quality and taste to be considered "Specialty", But taste alone does not make a coffee special. The culture, heritage, processing, business practices and most importantly the over 25 million people from around the world, make this magical drink truly special. The truth is in the cup.
About the Roaster
Morning Glory Coffee & Tea Inc. is a roaster of specialty coffees in West Yellowstone, Montana. At Morning Glory Coffee & Tea Inc., we are passionate about the close-knit coffee community from "seed to cup", and are proud to roast and provide some of the best coffees in the world on our website catalog and at our West Yellowstone, MT Coffee House. At Morning Glory Coffee & Tea Inc., we feel it is important to roast our coffees appropriate to the origin characteristics rather than to a particular roast color.