Tuesday, November 10, 2009

String Band - Powered by Dean's Beans

My name is Rick and I'm addicted to coffee. I start every day with a cup of fresh ground organically grown coffee. I'm not talking about four dollar a cup boutique blends. I grind my own with a hand cranked coffee mill, I don't pay ridiculous prices, and the money I pay isn't ending up in the pockets of some huge corporate agricultural conglomerate. The supplier for my habit is Dean's Beans, run by a fellow from Massachusetts by the name of Dean Cyon. This coffee crusader travels the world in support of social justice and ecological responsibility, searching for the perfect cup of certified organic fair trade shade grown coffee all the while teaching third world indigenous farmers how to use organic farming methods and market their product. All the coffees sold by Dean's Beans are the product of sustainable agriculture methods and the growers are fairly paid for their crop. Dean has documented some of his travels in his book "Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee," which won an award from the Independent Publishers Association for best travel book. This is a five star company that provides a quality product at a fair price (mostly $7-$8 a lb.) while doing the right thing.

"We only purchase beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles in a hostile world. We do not buy beans from large estates and farms. We've been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees. Look in your kitchen—do you know where your beans come from?"

Dean has a wonderful selection of light, dark, light/dark blends, espresso, decaf, and flavored coffees, all with inventive names like Ahab's Revenge, Obama Rama, Aztec Two Step, Monkey Knife Fight and Rattle Snake Gutter Brew. Dean's coffee is always freshly roasted and packed with flavor, but if you want an even fresher brew you can  buy unroasted green beans and the equipment to roast them at home one cup at a time!

"Dean's Beans only purchases beans from villages and importers that are committed to Fair Trade and working towards better economic opportunity, improved health and nutrition in the villages. We are proud to be a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster's cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer coops, and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. We are also active members of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders (no poseurs allowed)."

Dean also sells organic fair trade sugar and chocolate. His chocolate covered java drops have kept me awake on many an overnight road trip allowing me to drive through the night so I could get home to my morning cup of Rattle Snake Gutter Brew.

Organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee makes a great holiday gift.

The Homegrown String Band is powered by Dean's Beans
You should be too!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great cup of coffee and a great place to buy it.