With fierce loyalty to social justice and environmentalism, Colorado hatchling Mad Loon Coffee Roasters is beginning to spread its wings throughout the Denver area.
Small-batch Sonofresco roasting equipment that previously nested in the home of Mad Loon Founder Zach Green is now perched in a corner of Tomari’s Coffee Shop in Morrison, Colorado, which Green helped to open three years ago, and where he still serves as a manager and barista.
At the same time, a special wholesale relationship with the Coffee Haus inside the taproom of Swiss-inspired Denver cidery Waldschänke Ciders is adding new visibility to the brand.
Alongside other retail products at Waldschänke, Mad Loon whole beans are packaged in glass bottles that are fitted with a degassing valve. Despite the potential downsides of extra shipping weight and fragility, Green chose the coffee packaging to minimize the kind of waste that he characterized as standard in the coffee industry.
“Too many of those poly-lined coffee bags go into landfills,” Green told Daily Coffee News. “It’s not ok and it’s not necessary. Customers are encouraged to bring their bottles back in for bean refills, repurpose a bottle as a flower vase, fill it with vodka, or just easily recycle it.”
The same conscientiousness guides Green to source green coffees through Royal Coffee, a company whose priorities Green said align nicely with Mad Loon’s. Efforts are also made to partner with producers as directly as possible, despite the company’s currently small volume.
“A main goal of Mad Loon is to seek out smaller farms that often get swindled by coyotes — unethical middlemen — or their own government,” said Green. “Everyone wins when people get paid justly for passionate and hard work, in any industry. That’s just basic human golden-rule stuff.”
All of the beans obtained by Mad Loon pass through fluid-bed machine that has been customized to meet the challenge of high-elevation roasting.
“The folks over at Sonofresco worked with me to develop equipment and software mods specifically for Mad Loon’s needs for roasting quality at 6,800 feet elevation,” Green said. “[It was] very cool of them to do so.”
While Mad Loon may someday require a capacity upgrade, Green for now focused on developing quality offerings without overextending the company financially.
“Any future plans for growth at Mad Loon focus on ‘go small or go broke’ business principles, which incorporates the commitment to craft quality as the main driving component,” said Green. “I’m not in this industry to grow big and make money. I’m in this industry to make good coffee and give profits to social justice organizations.”
The Mad Loon Coffee Haus at Waldschänke opens Saturday, Feb 22nd at 4100 Jason St in Denver.