Conscious Coffee lives up to its name as a local and global leader in sustainable business practices.
Conscious Coffee believes that coffee is the lifeblood of flourishing communities, both locally and globally. They’ve made it their mission to positively influence those communities for the past 25+ years.
It all started with two hippy baristas in the mountains of Colorado. Mark and Mel bought their own roaster and launched a small company, originally called Breckenridge Roasters. Before long, they decided to relocate to Boulder, rename the company Conscious Coffee, and commit to roasting 100% organic beans. Their search to source healthier, more environmentally friendly beans eventually led them to join Cooperative Coffees.
Roasters Band Together to Make a Difference
Cooperative Coffees is a coffee-importing cooperative of roasters committed to supporting and partnering with small-scale organic coffee farmers and their exporting cooperatives. By importing directly from partner farmers, Conscious Coffee and other co-op roasters eliminate intermediaries and do business in a way that creates a fairer, more transparent, and sustainable system that directly benefits farmers, their families, and communities long term.
Through Cooperative Coffees, Conscious Coffee also participates in the Impact Fund. An additional few cents from every bean is returned to farmers through grants. Farmers can apply to the grants for things like water projects, reforestation projects, communications improvements — anything that will improve life in their communities.
Benefit Corporation Status: Stepping Up Their Commitment
With organic fair and direct trade established, Conscious coffee decided to go one step further and become a Benefit Corporation, aka a B Corp. A B Corp is a legal tool that creates a solid foundation for longer-term mission and value creation.
The road to qualifying for B Corp status is long and challenging, but it sets up businesses to lead a mission-driven life with commitments to a higher standard of purpose, accountability, and transparency. Through becoming a B Corp, Conscious Coffee was able to cement its commitment to ethically sourced coffee and widen its network of like-minded go-getters.
Roasting as an Art and a Science
Conscious Coffee is not only serious about where its beans come from, but they also like to get nerdy with the roasting process.
Since the early days of trial and error roasting, Conscious Coffee has refined the roasting process that is now equal parts art and science. With roasting roots stemming back to the early 1990s, they’ve had to face countless scenarios and have established profiles for every coffee they roast.
But it’s certainly not all science where a simple formula gives consistent results — there are numerous ways elements in the roasting process can vary from batch to batch. Even the same beans from a neighboring lot can contain different attributes that will alter the roasting process.
This is where the “art” comes in. Conscious Coffee roasters use their expertise and creative freedom to tweak things like heat, gas flow, air, and time to achieve the final result.
With their time-tested roasts and commitment to sustainability, Conscious Coffee has been setting the industry standard for 25 years. Their roasts are well-balanced and downright delicious. Don’t believe us? You must try it for yourself!
A Change in Ownership But Not Values
In 2017, Mark and Mel decided to retire from the coffee business. Enter Craig Lamberty — Conscious Coffee’s current owner and long-time coffee fan turned sustainable coffee entrepreneur.
As an engineer by training and corporate businessman by trade, Craig was in Iowa and looking for something new and more fulfilling. He wasn’t necessarily looking to get into the coffee industry, but he knew he wanted to return to Colorado and work for a business that shared his values. Craig laments, “I needed to regain my soul after a long career in the corporate world.” (We hear you, Craig!)
Craig met Mark and Mel, and the rest of the team and knew he had found something special. Along with his wife Laura and sister Kim, Craig headed to Colorado and dove head first into the world of specialty coffee. His goal was to grow the business while staying true to the mission of socially and ecologically responsible coffee.
Craig has stayed true to his word and today Conscious Coffee proudly maintains its B Corp status, buys 100% of its beans through Cooperative Coffees, and is the coffee of choice at many specialty coffee shops in Boulder county and far beyond.
Tin Top feels lucky to partner with such a like-minded roaster and pioneer in the coffee world. Check out our selection of Conscious Coffee’s roasts and join the club to contribute to their inspiring work in Boulder country and beyond.