Tiny Footprint Coffee sells enviro-friendly carbon-negative beans

Categories: Coffee
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Roasted to carbon negative perfection
Tiny Footprint Coffee's tag line is "Small steps to big climate change," and the new company is doing quite well purveying what they call carbon-negative beans. Recently landing impressive coffee service contracts with Gustavus Adolphus College and Medtronic, Tiny Footprint beans are also available at several retail outlets in town including Surdyk's, Mississippi Market and the Midtown Global Market. You can even purchase them online via Amazon.com.

It's definitely an interesting idea, but exactly how are these beans carbon negative?

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Kyle, Alan, Probat roaster
To answer this properly requires a bit of background about the company. A joint project born of the Krohnke brothers' desire to find a way to connect their coffee and cloudforest passions, Alan handles the coffee via Roastery 7 in Brooklyn Center and Brian issues the offsets as the President of the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation in Ecuador. Together they have analyzed the process of getting the beans from their place of origin to the customer and found the carbon output to be four pounds of CO2 per pound of coffee. As each pound is sold, Tiny Footprint pays the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation for the equivalent of 54 pounds carbon offset. This is accomplished by native tree species reforestation on private lands near or inside MCF's bird sanctuaries. The difference is 50 pounds, making the beans carbon negative by their calculations. MCF manages the plantings, which occur yearly from December to February.

The third collaborator in the endeavor is Minneapolis marketing firm Pocket Hercules. Partner Jason Smith heard the idea while working with Alan and signed on to brand and package the product, coining the name Tiny Footprint. With help from business development and sales lead Kyle Meehan, they've been able to differentiate the brand from several other Twin Cities roasters, capitalizing on the eco-friendly mission of the founders. As for the day-to-day operations, each partner business does what they do best, making for a smoother launch then most products experience. At the moment, Tiny Footprint has no employees or corporate location per se, as everyone is officially hired by Roastery 7, Pocket Hercules or MCF.

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Probat giant roaster
And the beans? Roastery 7 sources the organic, shade-grown arabica beans mainly from St. Paul's Café Imports and roasts them in a huge Probat. At the moment, Tiny Footprint is offering light, medium, dark, decaf and espresso roasts that have a base of Mexico, Peru and Sumatra with smaller amounts of Guatemala, Flores and Ethiopia. Single varietals are also available, and change with the seasons, as do the blends. Many, though not all, are certified free-trade beans. As the company expands its coffee service, retail presence and wholesale bean business, we'll find out if eco-consciousness is the secret to big sales.

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