I've for years chosen direct-trade coffees for my home and business—being aware of the social/economic/political realities of Central America reinforced by the coffee trade, and seeing them first-hand in Guatemala. I'd been searching online for direct-trade roasters beyond those I use for my personal use, to solicit membership premiums in my professional involvement with a network organization of Kansas specialty crop (fruit, vegetable, fiber, ornamentals, vineyards, etc.) growers—many of them smaller growers promoting direct relationships themselves in local food systems. It seemed a good way to advance our vision in a broader arena.
While Cycle Town was unable to donate coffee this season—standing out in their taking the time and attention to personally respond and noting they had already met their generous donation budget—what I saw in their history and values highlighted on their website drew me to take advantage of their recent discounted prices and pick up a couple bags for my home. Tying their local community—through promoting livable, bikable, infrastructure and culture—with their efforts to address and draw attention to global inequality effectively embodies the age old adage to think globally, act locally.
On top of it all, the Guatemala Antigua coffee turned out to be very, very good—reflecting what seems to be care and attention in Cycle Town's selection and roasting efforts. Well done.
With family connections in Portland, I look forward to stopping in one of your cafe next time we're there.