Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eat Local: Not "just" coffee: JUST Coffee

It's almost time for the 2013 Milwaukee Eat Local Resource Fair, and we're getting excited. So, we've decided to feature some of the vendors who will be present at the fair.

Just Coffee Cooperative is a worker-owned coffee roaster dedicated to creating and expanding a model of trade based on transparency, equality, and human dignity. The company strives to build long-term relationships with small-scale coffee growers to bring consumers a truly incredible cup of coffee.

They also strive to keep things light and fun.  Take, for example, the "legend" of how they began:
Legend has it that Just Coffee was started by a "college boy" and a farmer who met some revolutionary coffee growers in a place called Chiapas.
They struck up a friendship and went back to their homeland of Wisconsin to help sell their compas' beans to people who would not seek to rip these fine farmers off. After meeting some semi-shady and disinterested "coffee men" who turned up their noses and acted rudely, they sought out the advice of fair trade veterans in the justice league of coffee roasters known as Co-op Coffees.
After several pep talks, they became reluctant entrepreneurs, joined Co-op Coffees and bought a traditional coffee roaster. Thus Just Coffee was born!!!
As a team, this rag tag crew of farmers, activists, bike messengers, writers, dancers, circus clowns, honky tonk singers, and fellow travelers have concocted a plan to overthrow the neo-liberal coffee menace and to make fair trade live up to it's name.
And this is where you come in my friend. Whether or not you buy our coffee, please eschew labels and marketing claims wherever you can. Ask for transparency from any company that you buy from and then you can decide what meets your expectations of fairness.
Facts about Just Coffee:
  1. Their coffee is delivered by bike to the vast majority of Madison-area locations.
  2. Just Coffee is 100% Fair Trade Certified.
  3. They roast their coffee in 70 pound batches using a Sivetz hot-air (fluid bed) roaster,
Get more information at

Better yet, visit them at the fair on Saturday, August 17th from 11am - 3pm at the Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park.  It's free and open to the public. You should go!  More information at

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