Our Coffee

Closing The Loop of Social Responsibility

There is a great amount of coffee consumed by the United States and other nations. In recent years, a better quality coffee known as Specialty Grade Arabica has seen an increased demand. Electric City Roasting Company is one of only a very small group of micro-roasters in the United States that uses these high-quality beans. Specialty Grade Arabica beans are of less than 10% of the coffee sold in the world, but consumers demand the quality and are willing to pay more for this exceptional coffee.

The supply side of these beans is very different. Coffee only grows between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, and at altitudes of 4,000 to 6,000 feet. In the countries that produce coffee, many farmers and workers live on less than two dollars a day. This meager sum falls below the poverty level defined by the United Nations Millennium Project to Eradicate Poverty. If these farmers produce the Specialty Grade Arabica that coffee drinkers now demand, they will receive more funds, thus helping to reduce poverty.

Certified Fair Trade Practices

There are associations, such as Certified Fair Trade, that work with farms to help educate growers to produce this better quality coffee and to offer better education in general, with the intent to sustain the coffee crops and lower poverty. Certified Fair Trade ensures that the price of green coffee exceeds the growers’ costs. A designated sustainable Electric City Partner farm exceeds their criteria by paying the farmer at least 25% above Fair Trade to leave direct traceability—coffee sold to our customers directly from the farmer.




Paid Above Fair Trade

Funding The Source

At Electric City Roasting, we can show the consumer where a bag or a cup of coffee is from as we purchase certain coffee direct from farms. We utilize the importer/exporter guarantee that of the price we pay for coffee, no less than 80% goes directly to the farm. While we are not always successful, we strive for that goal. We designate projects to help educate laborers through direct funds for a Panamanian child to attend school. We provide funds for specific projects at a designated school for the children of the laborers in Costa Rica. We also give funds for coffee farming technology, such as certain shade trees in coffee farms in Guatemala.

At Electric City Roasting Company, we strive to trace every bag of coffee directly to the farms. We are committed to our goal of closing the loop; to make sure that every bag we buy and every cup we sell helps the farmers and laborers, and aids in education and reduction of poverty in the world.


Goal: Directly To Coffee Farm

Direct Trade Coffee, also known as relationship coffee, is the process by which Electric City Roasting purchases their coffee directly from the grower. By doing so, Electric City Roasting is able to help reduce the impoverishment of the grower and laborer by ensuring that 80% of the price paid for the coffee goes directly to the farm.

This price, which is typically 25% above and beyond the required Fair Trade value, thereby ensures that the farms are able to take part in sustainable practices – environmental and social – that exceed the expectations of Fair Trade. Such practices include utilizing proper growing techniques and equipment to increase sustainability of the crop, and sustainable social practices, like supplying workers with housing, electricity, spring water, farm crops, school scholarships, access to medicine, and more.

Direct Trade Coffee also means that the specialty coffee you purchase from Electric City Roasting Company has complete traceability. Unlike other sellers, we know who we buy from and what beans we buy. After all, we tour the farms and meet with the growers. So sit back and enjoy a wonderful cup of Direct Trade Coffee, knowing you are helping to support the supply of superior coffee and assisting us in Closing the Loop of Social Responsibility.

Fair Trade Coffee is coffee which is certified by the International Fair Trade Association. It is defined as “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.” It is intended to provide better trade agreements between purchaser and grower, with the intention of ultimately providing a better product through more sustainable practices.

If you are interested in Fair Trade Coffee, please read the about the truly enabling potential of Direct Trade Coffee.

Shade Grown Coffee is coffee which is grown under natural sustainable conditions of a typical forest canopy. By doing so, the grower is ensuring a healthier eco-system, which incorporates a greater range of diversity, resilience, and longevity. At the same time, shade grown coffee ensures a continual yearly yield without reliance on chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.

This results in a specialty coffee product that is not only safer for the environment, but safer for you, the consumer. So the next time you sit back to drink a cup of coffee, think about if you would rather walk through a coffee farm that looked like just a cornfield, or a bio-diverse coffee farm that was a dense forest with many interconnected layers of flora and fauna, including fruit trees, hardwood trees, epiphytes, song birds, and of course, coffee plants.

Organic Coffee is coffee which is produced under strict environmentally-friendly growing practices that aim to remove the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. To achieve this, coffee farms are often focused on recycling, composting, soil health, and biodiversity with the goal of creating a sustainable growing environment. As a result, organic coffee is often paired with shade grown techniques to produce a specialty product of superior quality and enduring nature.