Something delicious is brewing at the Food Conspiracy. It’s a new coffee, available exclusively at the co-op and roasted two blocks away at Exo Roasting Co. Now that’s local!
We call our new brew Conspiracy Coffee. It’s a medium-roasted blend of three organic beans. We hope to soon add a dark roast blend.
You can find Conspiracy Coffee beans in the co-op’s bulk section. Or grab a hot cup from our coffee bar!
Eventually, we hope to add a second style of Conspiracy Coffee, for those who prefer a darker brew.
Exo Roasting Co. is owned by a couple of local java lovers – Doug Smith and Noel Trapp. They recently talked to the co-op about what makes Conspiracy Coffee special.
How did you get started with coffee?
Noel: I used to be a barista. I’m still ranked in the top 100 baristas in the nation. I also did some consulting. People would hire me to come in and fix their café. They’d say I want to serve awesome shots of espresso. And I’d help them do it.
How about you, Doug? How long have you loved coffee?
Doug: Since I was 13. I certainly was a caffeine addict long before I understood the beauty of coffee and the process. I really learned that in Mexico. I’m an anthropologist. I wrote my PhD on coffee farmers in Mexico during a very difficult time for farmers. Market conditions were really prejudicial. For six years, I watched families get poorer and poorer and migrate to the border. So I learned everything about coffee from the culture of production to how the second most valuable commodity market in the world, behind oil, actually treated farmers. It wasn’t pretty. It made me want to get involved.
What does Conspiracy Coffee taste like?
Noel: The blend is special. It finishes really nice with this kind of beer bitters attitude. And it keeps the palette clean. It’s not like other coffees where you drink it and as soon as you do your mouth dries out because it’s very astringent.
How organic is Conspiracy Coffee?
Doug: All of the beans that we are using in the Conspiracy Coffee blend are certified organic. Most of the farms Exo buys from are certified organic and the ones that aren’t all grow according to organic standards.
How “fair trade” is Conspiracy Coffee?
Doug: Beginning next year, we’re going to start trading directly with some of the farms we buy from. We will buy lots or portions of lots directly from the farmers, which is a way of cutting out the middle men. That will mean that we can offer the growers a much better price. Some people describe direct trade as fair trade plus. To us that’s the future of coffee. It guarantees the highest level of social justice.
How is Conspiracy Coffee good for the farmers who grow the beans?
We like to order coffees that come from farms that have locally-designed social programs that are concrete. That do things like support women’s organizations or that use research-efficient processing methods. One of the coffees we bought recently helped pay for a school that the farm was building. A lot of social and environmental factors go into our decisions.
Learn more Exo Roasting Co. at exoroastco.com