Congo

Good Folks Coffee Roasters by Caleb Savage

“The best cups of coffee are usually when you aren’t thinking about tasting notes, brew method, and extraction, but you raise the mug to your lips for another drink and realize it is all gone. That’s our goal with every coffee.”

Good Folks Coffee Roasters

Founded as Argo Sons Coffee in October 2010, Good Folks Coffee Company was founded by Matt Argo in Louisville, Kentucky with a passion to make “a positive impact on everyone that is a part of our coffee chain.”

After travelling the world over eight years in the Army National Guard and several trips with his wife to Africa, Matt “developed a love for coffee -- particularly the social aspect and the economic impact it has in producing countries." He knew he wanted to start a business after his military contract was complete, and already loved to travel and work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Coffee seemed to be a perfect fit.

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Coffee Travels

In the search for “sweetness, balance, and complexity,” Good Folks “traveled to Guatemala to cup and purchase some fresh coffees. Several unique coffees that we purchased are currently on the water between Guatemala and the US, and we are excited to share the stories of the farmers, as well as the coffees themselves. A few of the coffees are experimental processes and/or rare varieties, resulting in some very small lots.”

Coffee + Bourbon + Louisville

While Good Folks doesn’t have a Brick and Mortar store front, you can find their coffee in Louisville at cafes like Please and Thank You, North Lime DonutsPearl Street Game & Coffee House, and restaurants including Proof on Main, Butchertown Grocery, Bar Vetti, and Decca.

Beyond coffee, “The Louisville Slugger Museum and Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville are must-visits. Keep an eye out at Evan Williams for a bourbon barrel aged coffee from yours truly. A quick stop at El Mundo for a house margarita (or two) and nachos with pork is a great option,” said Matt.

Now on Bar: Congo North Kivu

Good Folks Congo North Kivu is our first coffee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year! We’re serving Kivu on Espresso and Pourover and we’re really enjoying the nice pairing of sweet chocolate and bright peach notes in the cup! This coffee will only be on bar for a short time so stop in and let us know what you think!

Amavida Coffee Roasters by Caleb Savage

We’re serving coffee from the Haru Cooperative in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia from Amavida Coffee Roasters out of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida! Founded in 2004 by Dan and Sally Bailey, their purpose is to “create global impact, improving the lives of coffee producers.”  We were able to hear from Program Manager, Jennifer Pawlik about Amavida and their recent honor of being named Roast Magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year.  

Photo courtesy of Amavida

Photo courtesy of Amavida

More than just coffee

On Amavida’s website announcing their recent title, Jennifer writes: “For us, coffee is not just something we drink, a product we roast, or a project we support. Coffee is a vital influence in the lives of the people and cultures we represent and serve.”  She goes on in email to explain that in coffee, a rising tide lifts all ships:

“We are all interdependent. Through my time at Amavida I have seen how sourcing practices and commitment to relationships by a business can support entire peoples and cultures through trade, and witnessed these working relationships become deep friendships. Through our partnerships with nonprofits like On the Ground Global and the coffee producing communities they serve, something as simple as a gravity fed water system can give access to vital resources, lead to development of additional economy, and allow people to pursue education and their dreams. At the roaster and cafe level, things aren’t so different. The access to resources may be a little less dramatic seeming at home, however working with a local company, earning a living wage, having benefits like vacation, volunteer service time, and many others; creates opportunity for the people and families who are Amavida and within our broader community also.”

Certified Exposure

Muungano Cooperative, photo courtesy of Amavida

Muungano Cooperative, photo courtesy of Amavida

In the same way that we found Amavida through their recent award, designations like being Certified Organic and Fair Trade provide access and recognition for coffee producers.  Jennifer explains this benefit in discussing another offering from the Muungano Cooperative in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The producers at the Muungano Cooperative care for their environment and have been producing specialty organic coffee for years. In the DRC coffee is one of few exports that benefits the people, and getting the coffee to market is extremely difficult. On top of economic and cultural instability in this young democratic country, Congolese coffee has also not historically been “on the map” in the specialty coffee industry.

This recognition for Congolese coffee within our industry is slow-moving and long overdue. Certifications like Organic have the power to have a positive influence not only on the Muungano Cooperative but also for the producer families, surrounding communities, and (hopefully) the overall economy by helping communicate the values and practices of coffee producers in ways they cannot without its use, although some may be already in-line with Organic standards there is power in the symbol and the proof of practices.”

We’re excited to share Amavida’s coffee from the Haru Cooperative with you! Come try it as espresso or on the Chemex bar.