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The Art of Roasting Coffee and Why It Matters

The Art of Roasting Coffee and Why it Matters

Taking raw green coffee beans and turning them into delectable roasted coffee is truly an art form. Different roasting techniques can have a big impact on your daily cup of Joe. The difference between mediocre coffee and amazing, knock-your-socks-off coffee comes from the quality of the bean used AND the roasting technique. At Camano Island Coffee, we treasure our coffee beans and use masterful roasting techniques we use to bring out the best in every bean.

What is a Coffee Bean?

Coffee beans start out as the pit of a cherry-type fruit. Once the pits (or beans) are removed, they’re dried before being exported. The milled pits are considered green coffee beans. Once the green coffee is exported, it’s ready to be roasted. Some people believe roasting is the most important step in coffee production.

The Roasting Process

The roasting process involves more than you might think. It can take years of training and practice to become an expert coffee roaster. At Camano Coffee, we use the highest quality organic fair-trade coffee. We also use precise roasting techniques to bring out the very best in every coffee bean. Coffee roasting machines are used to heat the green coffee beans between 370 and 540 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re heated anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. The time and temperature determine the level of roast from light to dark.

Roast Levels

Most coffee drinkers have a preference when it comes to roast level. Whether you’re seeking a light or dark roasted coffee, most people have a favorite. So, what’s in a roast? Let’s discover what each roast level means for flavor, body and caffeine.

Many coffee drinkers assume dark roasted coffee has higher caffeine content, but it’s not true. Believe it or not, light roasted coffee is slightly higher in caffeine. It all boils down to the roasting techniques, which develop the different flavor profiles and caffeine levels of the coffee.

Light Roast

Light roasted coffee beans are light brown. They also display a lighter, more acidic flavor. Since the coffee from Camano Island Coffee Roasters is from trees grown in the shade, our light roasted coffee will exhibit less acidity than other brands. To obtain a light roast, the bean is heated until the “first crack” at about 375 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit. These beans do not have a shiny or oily appearance, which is developed when a bean is roasted longer releasing the oils. A lightly roasted bean will also offer more origin flavors, which come from the soil, weather conditions and other crops grown around the coffee plants.

Medium Roast

When compared to light roasted coffee beans, medium roasted coffee is slightly darker in appearance. The beans also exhibit a sweeter, more balanced flavor and less acidity. The caffeine level is slightly less than light roasted but higher than the dark roasted variety. This bean is created at temperatures between 410-430 degrees Fahrenheit, between the first and “second crack.” Some of the oils are released, but not enough to give the bean a shiny appearance.

Dark Roast

This level of roasting will give the coffee bean a shiny, oily appearance with a less acidic taste. Dark roasted coffee beans are heated to about 460 degrees Fahrenheit near the end of the “second crack.” The flavor may be slightly bitter or smoky from the roasting process. The roasty flavor tends to overwhelm the source flavor or flavor of origin of the coffee.

Choose the Best Brew

When searching for the best gourmet coffee online, be sure you know how the beans are being roasted. The roasting process is just as important as the way the coffee is grown. You can feel good knowing Camano Island Coffee Roasters are experts in their field, using only the best Organic Fair Trade Coffee and masterful roasting techniques to create the perfect cup of coffee every time.

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“What does your cup of coffee mean to you?”

At Camano Island Coffee Roasters, we spend a lot of time thinking about what coffee means to the people that rely on it. Coffee producing towns and farmers need our full support to continue their trade, and that’s why we always commit to a fair price for the best coffee beans in the world. Sometimes, however, we take for granted what coffee means to you, our customers. We recently asked for some of our coffee club members to submit reviews and tell us why they love drinking Camano Island Coffee. One of the responses from Carolyn in Seattle blew us away, and reminded us that coffee can mean so much more than just a daily wake-up call.

I first started drinking Camano Island Coffee Roasters coffee in 2002. My Dad was living with us at the time, battling lung cancer, and we received a postcard in the mail offering a trial pound. Up until this time I had been only an occasional coffee consumer–usually from a stand/shop, and only if it was Torrefazione’s Perugia blend. I just couldn’t find any other coffee I liked well enough to drink any more often than just occasionally. But Dad loved a cup of coffee every morning so I’d been making him a pour-over using the Torrefazione’s blend used at stands/shops. With the postcard offer we decided we should give Camano Island Coffee a try and we ordered the Papua New Guinea Medium Roast, and as the cliché goes, the rest is history.

Our mail usually comes late in the day here, but on the day we received our trial pound, it was delivered straightaway first thing in the morning because the mail carrier didn’t like the smell of coffee in his truck. Go figure; I would love to ride around with the smell of your great fresh-roasted coffee in my van any day of the week!

With the first cups of Papua New Guinea Medium Roast I brewed for Dad, he thought it was the best coffee he’d ever had, and at 82 years of age he’d downed a lot of coffee during his life! That’s when I started drinking your coffee every morning with Dad. Not only was the coffee delicious, there was something extra special about that morning coffee time with Dad because that’s when I started to hear stories from my Dad about his life that I had never heard before. Dad passed in late 2004, but I have continued to enjoy my one-cup-a-day even though my coffee-buddy is gone.

The story continues . . .

A few years ago, we were in the Skagit area and we decided to explore Camano Island for no particular reason. As we drove onto the island I saw the sign for Camano Island Coffee Roasters and exclaimed to my husband in the way that I do when I’ve found something wonderful, “Hey, Bill, there’s my coffee roaster, let’s go there!” Bill made a quick turn as he has learned to do, and we ventured in and were met by the friendliest staff. When I exclaimed that we just happened across the shop and I was a mail-order customer, the staff insisted on making us each a complimentary beverage of our choice. They whipped up a double-tall non-fat extra-hot latte’ for me, and my non-coffee-drinking husband enjoyed a wonderful cup of hot chocolate. As we explored the wonderful gift shop it was so great to see the roasting area and enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the people responsible for my wonderful cup of coffee each day.

I love Camano Island Coffee Roasters coffee because the coffee tastes so good and because it’s fresh-roasted and shipped immediately, but also because the coffee is shade-grown, organic and this company goes the distance to make a difference in the lives of the coffee growers and their families. I feel good about drinking coffee that makes the world a better place.

Last but not least, with every cup of Camano Island Roasters Coffee I drink, I also get to enjoy the sweet memory of discovering this coffee with my Dad and enjoying a great cup of coffee together while hearing stories about his life every morning during the time he was with us.

To the wonderful staff at Camano Island Coffee Roasters, keep doing what you are doing, and thank you so much!

— Carolyn

Thank you Carolyn, for this wonderful letter. We’re so happy our coffee is your reminder of time with your father, and hope that it brings the same joy to other coffee club members like you.

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Cake, Coffee, & a Volcano

Cake, Coffee, and a Volcano

It was unusually dark in La Aurora Airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It was strange. There were few people to be seen. I asked the agent at the departure gate,

“”Where is everyone?”

“”Sir, all of the flights have been delayed due to Fuego Volcan erupting. It is very angry today.”

I thought to myself, why did you let me check in and go through security? But I bit my tongue.

“”Any idea when we can fly again?”

“”Well, we hope to have a flight come in, in a couple of days. We’re sweeping the runway right now.”

I walk over to the 20ft tall windows and look out. I see about 50 people with brooms — hand sweeping the 1,930,600 feet of runway.

I think to myself, this is going to take forever.

I had spent the last 5 days in Guatemala working with my friend, Luis — short, gentle man with a quiet confidence – the air of a man who knows what he’s doing. He runs the largest bakery chain in Guatemala — La Holandesa. Luis has worked with us for years in helping to build Agros villages and generationally change people’s lives throughout Guatemala.

A year ago I shared in detail our model of prosumerism — the Coffee Lovers Club. Luis loved it. We talked about sustainably changing people’s lives, not just writing a charity check. We talked about catalytic philanthropy and finding the one thing that can have a cascading effect in transforming people’s lives.

We talked about the many travails the people of Guatemala face. During our conversation Luis continued to come back to single mothers. So we agreed single mothers must be our catalyst of change.

But what is the catalyst of change in the single mother’s life? It quickly became obvious — childcare.

“I take care of single mothers whose husbands have left them. But what if I sponsor daycare through the Catholic Church so these single mothers can go to work and provide a future for their little ones?”

Luis could have written a check to help single mothers with things like food, clothing, and education, but he saw the power of prosumerism — evidenced by Camano Island Coffee Roaster’s Coffee Lovers. He had seen first hand the impact thousands of people pulling together around coffee could make in the lives of his fellow countrymen. So he decided to use prosumerism too.

“I’m going to take this prosumerism to Guatemala. We can only create lasting change with prosumerism.”

And so he did.

Luis talked with the local Catholic ran daycares. He offered to provide free childcare to single mothers. A portion of the sales from Holandesa bakeries would go back to these daycares to help cover the costs. In addition, Luis worked with his management team at Holandesa to provide as many jobs to single mothers as they could.

I told Luis, “This is incredible what you and your Holandesa prosumers have been able to do with the money they already spend on bread and cakes and pastries.”

“Jeff, I saw this success from your Coffee Lovers. Their example has encouraged me.”

While eating a delicious slice of Chocolate wrap cake, Luis further explained to me what many of our Coffee Lovers already know. Simply writing a charity check isn’t enough. It’s just not sustainable. Creating a sustainable future is using funds from an everyday purchase to fund the solution to a problem. It’s providing the same service or goods but using part of the revenue to fix a problem.

With jobs and daycare these single mothers can now provide nutrition and education for themselves and their children. These are single mothers who are not part of an Agros village. These are the single mothers within the inner city. These are the single mothers who have no where else to turn.

We’ve seen with our Agros villages how using entrepreneurial principles can lead to generational change. Many of our villager’s children are now graduating from college. They’re becoming school teachers like Maria. They’re becoming doctors. They’re becoming entrepreneurs.

Jose was doing 120 kilometers an hour — hitting every pothole between Guatemala and El Salvador. For 6 hours we screamed through jungle, and bumped around on dirt roads until we arrived in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. When we rejoined the realm of cell service I noticed I had a missed call. It was Luis.

“Luis how are you? We’ve made it to San Salvador.”

“Jeff, you have to see some of our bakeries in San Salvador before you leave. Ask Jose to take you.”

I’m thinking to myself all I want to do is get a shower and go to sleep before I hopefully catch my new flight in the morning, but Luis’s passion was infectious.

“OK Luis. Jose and I will check them out. Let’s see some more prosumerism.”

And off we went.

One part of this story I haven’t quite explained is why I visited Guatemala in the first place. The idea was for us to take some of our coffee and smoothie systems to Holandesa Bakery. With some streamlined operations, Luis and I believed we could increase revenue and by default share our Coffee Lover’s message of “Prosumerism As Sustainable Change” with more people. The work being done here in El Salvador is just a small piece of that.

As I was there visiting what must have been the 20th bakery and eating the 20th slice of Chocolate Wrap cake by this point in the trip, I thought what an incredible opportunity. Here we were, now in El Salvador, a country ravaged by civil war. And we have the opportunity to share the prosumerism of our coffee lovers.

Thanks to you it’s not just about coffee or even Agros. It’s about prosumerism being shared in war-torn regions — in the inner city — with single mothers who happen to serve up delicious cake and even tastier coffee.



Jeff Sig 3

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Why Relief Isn’t Enough

Why Relief Isn’t Enough

Most relief work may be providing food to starving children in the Sub-Saharan, or medicine and shelter to families after a natural disaster, but what happens next? Is it enough to simply give a band-aid and call it good?

Absolutely not.

We go through an ineffectual cycle. Disaster strikes, we rush to the poor’s help, then once they can survive, we leave. But then disaster strikes again and we start this cycle all over again. What if the poor could do more than survive after the emergency subsidy leaves? What if they could thrive?

The Power of Rehabilitation

With the power of rehabilitation, the poor can learn to thrive. It’s been said the poor are invisible. Whether that’s the homeless vet begging for some change at the next intersection or the single mother in rural Guatemala struggling to provide.

Thriving can only be gained when the poor become visible. When we recognize them as human — when we include them as part of the team instead of a burden to “take care of.” What I mean by this is giving them a chance to bring value. And, more than that, teaching them they have value. Teaching them they can do something to provide for themselves, their family, and the poor around them. Rehabilitation gives hope. It plants the seed of hope that makes a person say, “I don’t want to be here anymore, I can do something different.”

When our partners, Agros, come to a village they provide workshops for villagers to begin their path to sustainability. They provide the tools and techniques to cultivate a coffee crop, education on banking loans, and how to prevent coffee tree diseases. Hope is more than just a feeling, it’s transformational change.


Once the poor have hope and educational resources, they start the work of building a future. This is development. Too often development never begins. Instead we bail the poor out. We give them handouts to feel good about ourselves. This destroys the poor.

The poor need independence. The poor need the joy of working for themselves — to build their own future. They need the pride of ownership. They needs to be given the opportunity to build for themselves.

By giving a single mother this opportunity we are not abandoning her. We come alongside her, and admire her work. We purchase her goods. We help her get to market. But in all of this, the poor is the main builder of development. She builds her own future. She no longer needs a handout.

Development becomes generational. Not only does a coffee farmer now have pride in his own work, he has the lessons and the hope learned in rehabilitation to pass down to his children. He saves his profits. He sends his kids to school. And, now his children come back as teachers, doctors, or agronomists.

This wouldn’t be possible without you.

Thanks to coffee drinkers like you families can receive not only relief and rehabilitation but also build development for themselves. Thanks to the power of your prosumerism we can bring the poor’s products to market. They are no longer poor thanks to you. What a joy to be a part of this cycle of sustainability. Do more than relief.



P.S. If you have not joined us, go ahead and pick a free pound of coffee on the house and join the Coffee Lover’s Club to be a part of the cycle of sustainability.

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The Beauty of Benevolence

The Beauty of Benevolence

Charity checks may sound wonderful – but they don’t do enough.

It’s easy to write a check without thinking twice. You feel good about yourself in the moment but what happens next? People need sustainable tools – not just temporary relief. Why give a handout when we can fix the problem?

Why Charity Isn’t Enough

Every year, thousands of charitable organizations try to tackle poverty and hunger. However, poverty and hunger are still rampant. Why? Because relief only provides a temporary fix. When disaster strikes again, people react and write charity checks. There’s a better path – benevolent capitalism. This path leads to a “hand up” not a handout.

Give a Hand Up Not a Hand Out”

To create sustainable development, people need investments in lasting infrastructure more than temporary aid. We must walk hand in hand with our farmers and provide the tools they need to support themselves and their families. Our partner, Agros, gives our farmers a “hand up” through coffee-growing workshops, bank loans, and education. And, it’s only possible by your thoughtful purchase of coffee. That’s benevolent capitalism.

Benevolent Capitalism Makes The Invisible – Visible

People don’t want handouts – they want to be heard. They want to be pulled from the shadows of poverty and given a voice. Benevolent capitalism is a hand up, not a hand out. With capitalism comes profit. However, profits shouldn’t mean greediness. I don’t keep score of the profits – I keep score of the triple bottom line.

The Triple Bottom Line:

1) Do good for the environment

2) Do good to the people around you

3) Do good business in creating profit

As the old phrase states, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” We like to take that phrase one step further: empower the man to own the pond and you transform him and his family generationally.

Thank You.

People like you, are making a real difference every day just by drinking Camano Island Coffee. Farmers who were told not to dream, can now dream and bring themselves out of the shadows of poverty. You change lives with every sip of coffee – and for that, I thank you. If you haven’t already, Join the Coffee’s Lover’s Club. Your first pound is on us.

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A Special Announcement: Expansion To Korea

A Special Announcement: Expansion To Korea

I am delighted to share a special announcement with you. Camano Island Coffee is moving into South Korea! Five years ago, we began selling our coffee through churches and private sellers. Through these connections, it quickly became apparent that Korean coffee drinkers wanted to change lives through prosumerism. As a result, “Camano Coffee Korea” will open a few coffee shops and kiosks in Seoul, South Korea.

3 Things You Should Know About Coffee In Korea

1. Why Asian Culture Is New To Coffee

As I’ve traveled to Asia over the years, I saw how their perception of coffee differs from America’s. I find it fascinating that America has a unique ‘coffee pot mentality’. What does that mean? In nearly every American household, there’s a coffee pot. We grab our coffee on the go and put it in our travel mugs. It’s a rare moment when we sit down to relax.

In Asia, they have a ‘tea pot mentality’. What’s the difference? Koreans view drinking tea as a peaceful activity, meant to help ease the mind. You will find a teapot in nearly every household. I realized that buying coffee and brewing at home was not a familiar concept to the Asian culture, until recently. Over the last few decades the coffee craze has become popular in Asian culture. Coffee shops are popping up all over Seoul. Though some have formed as kiosks, reflecting the American ‘on the go’ mentality, many take on a more ‘homey’ feel. This got me thinking: we could bring Camano Island Coffee to the Korean ‘at home coffee shop’ experience.

2. The “At Home” Coffee Shop Experience

Chairs lined with tables, loud jazz music blaring through the speakers, and a constant chatter of people does not reflect a Korean coffee shop. Instead, you will see Korea’s take on an authentic ‘meeting spot’ coffee shops designed as houses. In these cafes, you can walk into a living room, sit down on a sofa and listen to soft music.

Now, Camano Island Coffee has become a part of the Korean “at home” coffee shop experience. Customers can buy coffee for their home or buy espresso drinks in our shops and kiosks. Each cup they drink directly supports your Agros farmers and continues to make a difference.

3. Just Like You, Korean Coffee Lovers Want to Make A Difference

I just love that we can take prosumerism to Korea and here’s why: because of coffee lovers like you, we’re able to expand across oceans and continue spreading generational change for our farmers. Transformational purchasing is not strictly an American idea; people around the world want to make a difference.

We all have the power to change the world and buy responsibly. Our Korean friends now join us to make a powerful impact with every dollar spent. Thanks to you, we’re able to spread prosumerism and continue breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

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A Note From Jeff – Trip To Guatemala

A Note From Jeff – Trip To Guatemala

Here I am standing at 8,000 feet above sea level as I’m struggling to catch my breathe after a long hike through this lush and green countryside. Insects are buzzing around my head and I’m ready for lunch. Finally we stumble upon this peak in the Ixil region of Guatemala — the region where our farmers live. The farmers you’ve had a hand in helping. When I see their faces, I’m overwhelmed. The bugs, long hike, and altitude sickness are all worth it to see the change that’s been made in these farmer’s lives — all from a cup of coffee.

The People

The people in the Ixil Region are quite possibly the most humble and resilient people I have ever met. They are so thankful for things that Americans would consider as “the basics”. Clean running water, a sturdy roof over their heads, a school for their children, and a sustainable job, are just a few reasons why they are thankful to be a part of Agros. Land ownership, I would say, is the most important to them.

Their land means everything to them and because the opportunity to own land has become a reality, these farmers have made headway in creating generational change.

One of the world’s worst civil wars in human history took place in this very region just a few decades ago. From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, militias infiltrated the Ixil Region, massacring thousands. Now, those relatives who have survived rally in their amazing human spirit and have learned to carry on. They no longer have to worry about armies coming in and stealing their land. There has been an increase of access to natural resources such as clean running water and road development. Education is beginning to flourish and sustainability has settled in. The children of these relatives will never have to experience what their parents or grandparents endured, thanks to Agros.

The Goat Initiative

You might be wondering, what on earth is a Goat Initiative? I am excited to share with you, that along with coffee farmers sustaining themselves, another means of income has taken place in the Ixil Region. Goats are an incredible resource for milk, cheese, and yogurt production. Their milk is very nutritious and easy on our bodies to digest. Unlike cows, goats also do not compete with the food supply and are much easier on the land. A woman in her 60’s got an amazing idea that has transformed the lives of many others. She realized, that goats have an incredible amount of wealth in their abilities to produce a variety of necessities. When she had 14 goats herself, she knew that was all she needed to sustain for her family. With her goats, she was able to produce goat milk and sell it to families in need with infants needing nutritious milk. With this knowledge, she decided to start a goat raising operation. She then helped organize and collaborate with other organizations, such as USAID, Heifer International, Save the Children, Zero Hunger and Agros, to build a sprawling facility with multiple buildings just for goats! From breeding and raising, to production operations of milk, cheese and yogurt, villagers are now able to sustain themselves by the means of goats! The wealth that will come from this operation will last years, even generations. Another amazing aspect of this operation, are the graduating kids of the school system now beginning to run the operation. Generational change has broken the path of destruction and tragedy, filling this region with hope and means of sustainability.   

Maria, the Seed of Greatness

Some people are meant to achieve greatness rather than skate through life doing the bare minimum. Maria, a 21 year old woman of the Agros village, is one I like to call the ‘Seed of Greatness’. Maria was introduced to Agros when she was about 5 years old. From there, she and her family were able to access natural resources, start working and send her to school. Her teachers told her she could be different. She didn’t have to get married right away and start having a family. She could be a role model for other girls, by going to college, taking it seriously, and starting a career.

At just 21 years old, Maria has done that. She earned herself a scholarship through Agros to go to college and recently graduated. She is now a director for an entire school. Guatemalan women primarily stayed in the home and many started having children as young as 12 years old. Maria did something that no other woman in this area of the Ixil Region had done before. She takes time in her days at the school to sit down with the kids and tell them her story. She reiterates constantly how she was able to break the mold and be different. I told Maria, during an emotional private conversation, “You don’t know how important you are. You are a mirror for other girls. They look at you and see what they could become.” If it weren’t for an Agros worker who worked with her family, she would be living like many others. There is no doubt in my mind that Maria, is in fact a Seed of Greatness.

Land, Hope, Life

During my stay in Guatemala, I learned so much about how the human spirit can endure and the hope it can bring. The Guatemalan Agros villagers are so proud and humble of what may seem basic to the average American. They are not materialistic, nor do they want pity. They want to be heard, and be pulled out from the shadows of poverty. I’ve said this before, poverty makes one invisible. Once you are out of the shadows, learn to sustain yourself and buy your land, there is no stopping what you can do. Young girls like Maria are mirrors of excellence for other young girls to not just dream, but follow her path. These children who are graduating from Agros schools are paving the way for more generational change and hope. The land, so near and dear to the villagers’ hearts, is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Agros and people like you, the coffee lover member, have made this a reality for many villagers.

Returning Home

Leaving Guatemala, I felt inspired by the farmers who have overcome such hardship and heartache. Their perseverance and dedication to become sustainable members of their villages is an amazing feat. Maria is just one example of the opportunities now available to all Agros children. Land ownership is becoming a reality for those who never thought their dreams would come true. The Agros farmers growing Guatemala coffee have become a success story in a region where it was thought to be impossible. Thanks to coffee lovers like you buying ethical coffee, generational change has occurred and will continue for years to come.

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A Note From Jeff: Teaching Ethical Business Practices in India

A Note From Jeff: Teaching Ethical Business Practices in India

At the beginning of May, I had the opportunity to travel to Indore, India for two weeks to teach at Acropolis University. I had the opportunity to teach the principles of social entrepreneurship, sustainability, ethical business practices and a principle I consider to be the most important in all of business.

This principle is simply:

“Finding Purpose in What You Do.”

Life is a bucket, and we’re only one drop of many. I have always maintained the belief that we are not just a coffee company. Rather, we’re an ‘Opportunity Business’ for our farmers. This is how Camano Island Coffee Roasters is ‘Finding Purpose in What We Do’.”

In Finding Purpose, What can YOU Do: The Triple Bottom Line.

Well, while teaching some of India’s finest students, I explained my blueprint for “Finding Purpose in What You Do”, with what I like to call the Triple Bottom Line:

 1) Do good for the environment

2) Be good to the people around you

3) Do good business in creating profit

The Triple Bottom Line is my blueprint for “Finding Purpose in What You Do”. But what I found to be one of the most gratifying out of my trip was how these students already practice The Triple Bottom Line without even realizing it!

The Indian students I taught were a median age of 25, and they believed wholeheartedly that they are in fact the new generation of change. This generation will eliminate India’s notorious Caste system. Even though their grandparents believed in it, and their parents put up with it, this generation will no longer tolerate it. Instead, they want equal chances and will not strive for anything less. Truly, this generation lives for ethical business practices.

I’m teaching ethical business practices to these incredible students.


What I love most about traveling and learning about different cultures, is the amazing entrepreneurial spirit these folks have. There’s a horizon of entrepreneurs that bleeds into the system, spreading innovation, new ideas and bringing about ethical business practices.

They honestly believe they are a middle class country and they will continue to improve even though ‘statistics’ of India say otherwise. I have had the privilege to travel to 40 countries and I have found an amazing common belief everywhere I go: young people are more in touch with the truth than any generation. They refuse to live for themselves as much as an older generation may. They would rather become part of something bigger and level the playing field through ethical business practices.

Even, after many decades of top down leadership, innovation is embraced greatly in India. Seeing these students excited about doing ethical business and becoming a part of something much bigger than themselves just fired me up. I believe, there is no such thing as a limited resource but rather limited thinking. These students do not — by any means — have limited thinking.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters — Finding Purpose in What We Do By Living Ethical Business Practices.

Ethical business practices transcends into what we believe here at Camano Island Coffee Roasters. We do not give handouts to help the poor, but rather walk with the poor. Doing the simple act of drinking a cup of our coffee, is directly helping 24,000 farmers worldwide.

By doing this, we give them life changing education and opportunities to sustain themselves which leads to generational change. Poverty makes you invisible, however, as a loyal coffee drinker, you help bring out those in the shadows of poverty.

Let’s face it, our farmers deserve nothing but fairness, the opportunity to break the generational barriers, and the ability to sustain themselves.

Camano Island Coffee — with you, the coffee lover as our partner — gives them this opportunity to better their lives and their children’s lives forever.

I may be back home on my beautiful island of Camano, but I feel as if a piece of my heart was left in India. I wish from the bottom of my heart, the very best for my Indian students and hope that they can become the new generation of entrepreneurial change, prosperity and integrity.


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An Ethical Coffee Meeting with Agros International

An Ethical Coffee Meeting with Agros International

This past Wednesday, Dan and I had the opportunity to visit Agros HQ in Seattle. It was a great time and they were very hospitable to us.  We were able to share some of the new things CICR has been working on.  Many new faces (for me at least) were there for the meeting.

Our customers all know of our close relationship with Agros as we talk about it all the time.  Just as it’s important for us to communicate to you the changes you create through being members of our Coffee Lover’s Club, it’s also important for us to spend time communicating our focus on ethical coffee with Agros as well.  For us, giving Agros a check from our Coffee Lover’s Club orders is only a sustainable act if we can also communicate with Agros and allow them to communicate back.  Knowing of Agros’ future goals is part of responsible giving and ethical coffee.  Allowing Agros to communicate their goals back is part of responsible receiving.  We’re so happy to have a wonderful relationship with Agros.

Dan brought his camera and took a few pictures in between making Frozen X-plosion’s and serving brewed coffee.

The table we sat at had a wonderfully colorful tablecloth.  Emily at Agros provided Dan and I very delicious sandwiches! Shannon grabbed Dan’s camera when he came out with the Frozen X-plosion’s for everyone and took a couple great pictures: Here are a few of the Agros workers enjoying Frozen X-plosion’s. The purpose of our visit was for me to share CICR’s vision for ethical coffee with Agros and “update” them on the things happening around CICR. All-in-all, we had a great time celebrating ethical coffee and sustainability.

Jeff – CICR

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Serving Stanwood and Camano Island at the Community Fair

Serving Stanwood and Camano Island at the Community Fair

Well, the time as come and gone. Every year we look forward to serving our healthy coffee to our community (and yes, hoping to pick up a few new prosumers). It’s amazing the connections we make each year. Some of our longest lasting customers are those we’ve had the pleasure of meeting first hand at the different local fairs around Washington.

For us, the Stanwood/Camano Fair is a “getting back to our roots” event. Dan and I have been sampling our coffee at fairs since the beginning of CICR. It’s the perfect occasion to spend time with the loyal customers that gave us our start. Many of our coffee subscription customers around the nation stem from a group of very loyal, local customers. We uploaded a few videos to our YouTube account and will be adding them to our blog shortly. The coffee booth was hopping with activity. We “tweeted” live when possible and even involved some customers in a project we are working on for our sister company, Frozen X-plosion (Blend On!). Also at the fair, many great local companies were involved such as The Everett Herald, Del Fox Custom Meats, Sahara Pizza, Windermere Reality, and our Local Fire and Police Departments. I’m sure I’ve left many out (feel free to add them in the comments) as there were many, many vendors and businesses present.

The big hit around the fair with most of the workers was the CICR Acrylic Commuter mug. Many saw a sea of commuter mugs topped off with CICR’s Papua New Guinea Medium Roast Coffee throughout the whole fair.

All in all, we made over 200 airpots of our fresh roasted, Papua New Guinea Coffee. We gave away over 1,000 samples and had people purchase over 100 commuter mugs (filled with coffee of course). Our coffee wouldn’t stay on the shelves and we ended up selling over 300 pounds to the local community and visitors.

“Thanks!” to all who came and/or followed our event through our social media sites.

Jeff – CICR