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Bicycle Coffee Co - Is it really sustainable?

December 16, 2011

I picked up a bag of medium roasted coffee from Bicycle Coffee Co. at my local grocer this evening, my intent was to get Barefoot Coffee Roasters Dark Horse Espresso, but alas the Bicycle Coffee was the only one that was roasted within the past week, Dec 14th. However, I had been interested in trying out their coffee for a while now as I have seen them sitting at the grocer giving me longing looks every week so it was a good time to give them a try.





Anyway, while I did enjoy their blend of medium roast coffee in the clever dripper this evening, I want to focus more on the idea of sustainable coffee and how I am a little skeptical of it and what it should focus on.





One of the ideas behind Bicycle Coffee is that they pedal their coffee all over the area for their deliveries. It's something like the idea of Kickstand Coffee out of New York, basically providing coffee with the least amount of environmental impact. However, I sometimes feel that it is a little bit of a gimmick in marketing to promote sustainability with a good that has had to travel thousands of miles to get here. I feel that since it has already traveedl of those thousands of miles it's almost incidental for the few more miles it takes to have a car/van drop of the coffee locally.





Perhaps with the passing of Christopher Hitchens today I am merely just channeling my inner skeptic, keep reading to let me try and redeem myself.





What I do like about most of these roasters and purveyors of coffee is that while I do believe their Bicycle fetishes are just clever marketing on their parts, they do support small coffee farms.  Let's take the medium roast coffee I got this evening it's from Pachamama Coffee co-op from farmers in Peru, and they truely are a good story that should be shared. The co-op is a collection of farmer through Latin America that sells directly, they even have what they call a CoffeeCSA.org, which is putting even more money back in the hands of those actually growing the coffee. For a rough idea of the price they are being paid think of this, Fair Trade coffee on average pays the $2.18/lb while their organization pays their farms up to $4.60/lb. for further reading I would look at this in the. NY Times





While I do like the coffee they buy, I still feel a little critical of the bicycling...








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