Three Texas coffee roasting companies have banded together to form the Hope Coffee Collaborative, roasting unique blends for online sales and donating 100% of proceeds to COVID-19 pandemic relief organizations in the Lone Star state.
The idea came shortly after Jake Sussman of Liberty Hill-based Madrone Mountain Coffee and Matt Toomey of Houston’s Little Dreamer Coffee returned from a trip to New York City earlier this year.
“When we flew home, the pandemic and a sense of panic was starting to hit New York City and beyond,” Sussman told Daily Coffee News. “We both agreed that a coffee collaboration where we could inspire a sense of hope in an increasingly hopeless world was necessary.”
Red Light Coffee Roasters of Galveston rounds out the team that collaborates, from a distance, to determine what they want their blends’ profiles to be in the cup and what coffees each has available. Each company roasts its contribution before coffees are blended and sold under the shared Hope Coffee Collaborative name.
The first blend, called Hope Punch, is a $15 bag containing a natural-process Ethiopian bean blended with beans from Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. Proceeds go entirely to the Texas N95 Covers Initiative, which organizes the sewing and delivery of hand-sewn covers for N95 masks to Texas front line healthcare workers.
Sewing volunteers also get free coffee through the Hope Coffee Collaborative effort, whose slogan is “a cup of hope when we need it most.” Likewise, Hope Coffee customers each receive a free mask for every bag of coffee they purchase, while mask supplies last.
“The biggest challenge has been selecting the participants and balancing this initiative with work, life, etc.” said Sussman. “Another factor that we want to make sure we get right is the donation recipient. With so much uncertainty and strife going on in the world, we want to make sure that we stay true to the mission of inspiring hope when we select a beneficiary. At the end of the day, this is a collaborative effort, so respect for everyone involved is key.”
Sussman said the trio is organizing towards a second blend and determining a second beneficiary now.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.