The Glasgow roaster has partnered with Social Bite, a nonprofit aimed at ending homelessness, for a new blend helping to fund the cause.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Dear Green Coffee
For Lisa Lawson, community is an important concept on multiple levels. This includes being an active part of the European coffee community: The Glasgow, Scotland, resident is a Coffee Roasters Guild board member, founder of the Glasgow Coffee Festival, and owner of Glasgow roaster Dear Green Coffee. But on a closer-to-home level, Lisa works to better the community in Glasgow, including working with local charities.
This goal of benefiting the Glasgow community extends to a recent partnership between Dear Green Coffee and Social Bite, a Scotland-based charity that works toward ending homelessness in the country. Dear Green and Social Bite have partnered on a new coffee blend, called the Dear Green x Social Bite Blend, with proceeds from each sale going toward Social Bite’s Pay It Forward program.
Jane Bruce, CEO Scotland of Social Bite, explains the program thusly: “Pay it Forward at Social Bite is a simple concept where someone buying a coffee for themselves also buys one for someone affected by homelessness at the same time that can be picked up by a ‘homeless customer’ later that day. It’s a random act of kindness that anyone can do to help make someone else’s day better.” Customers can also “Pay it Forward” to provide someone with a hot meal.
This is not the first time Lisa Lawson has worked with Social Bite; the Glasgow Coffee Festival has supported the organization with charitable donations in the past. Lisa says the two organizations’ shared values made it natural for Dear Green and Social Bite to collaborate on a blend. “Dear Green had admired Social Bite’s business model and ethics for a while. … A chance meeting opened up the opportunity to work together,” Lisa says. “As two organisations who have a social outlook, it seemed obvious that we should form a coffee partnership which has a sense of purpose at both ends of the supply chain.”
To create the blend, the Dear Green team invited the Social Bite staff and supporters to their roastery for two cupping sessions, first cupping single-origin coffees from Dear Green’s range of coffees, then cupping blends the Dear Green team created from the group’s favorite flavor profiles. From those efforts, they dialed in the coffee for filter, espresso, and milk drinks to finalize the blend. “The components, which we’ll QC and adjust regularly to maintain the profile, are 50% Brazil Fazenda Pantano Yellow Bourbon, selected with Falcon Specialty on a trip last year; 35% Colombia Tolima Regional Blend, selected on a recent trip with Cafe Imports; and 15% Rwanda Tumba Washing Station Red Bourbon, selected for us by Falcon Specialty,” Lisa says.
The blend is currently being served at Dear Green cafés, and is being sold as whole bean as well. Jane of Social Blend says partnering with a popular roaster like Dear Green has helped make a substantial impact on the Pay It Forward program. “Our partnership with Dear Green helps in a couple of ways,” she says. “Firstly, because the Social Bite Blend that we created with Dear Green is so delicious, we sell more coffee overall and that has led to an increase in people also donating more coffees through the Pay it Forward scheme. Alongside that, we’re also selling bags of the blend in-store and each bag sold also triggers a Pay It Forward donation.”