Many coffee drinkers today would be surprised to learn that little more than 20 years ago, “coffee quality” was an oxymoron. It’s true. After World War II, the U.S. coffee industry was dominated by a handful of large coffee companies who, in their never ending drive to increase profits, came up with an astonishing number of methods to squeeze every penny from their coffee beans. The result was a depressing litany of corporate coffee “breakthroughs”, such as pre-ground and staled coffee in cans, the 13oz. “pound”, freeze dried instant coffee, Robusta variety coffee, and flash roasting.
By the late 80s, customers were ready for a change and small local roasters led a revolution in coffee quality, sourcing and brew methods. In 1991, Groundwork began roasting coffee locally on a 29 lb. small batch roaster, hand-built in Oregon. Within 5 years Groundwork was roasting 10,000 lbs. of coffee each week and began converting all of its operations to meet organic certification.
Yet, today, there is some confusion in customer’s minds as to what coffee quality actually represents. Does quality mean finding the rarest beans possible and charging 3 times the average cost for them? Does it mean, developing a terminology that only a select group of “aficionados” can comprehend?
Or does quality mean sourcing the finest organic coffee beans available, roasting them fresh each day and providing them to customers in a format that is easy to comprehend, educational and unique. At Groundwork our goal is simple, we want to provide coffee everyday for people who like coffee and enjoy knowing their purchase was for a sustainable product at a sustainable price. The rest is fluff.