Vortex Doughnuts gives back to coffee-growing community with new partnership

COFFEE FOR EDUCATION: Vortex Doughnuts owner Ben Meyers, left, is pictured with the director of the Suke Quto School during a November visit to the coffee-farming village of Suke Quto in Ethiopia. All proceeds from sales of Suke Quto coffee at Vortex this month will directly benefit the school.
COFFEE FOR EDUCATION: Vortex Doughnuts owner Ben Meyers, left, is pictured with the director of the Suke Quto School during a November visit to the coffee-farming village of Suke Quto in Ethiopia. All proceeds from sales of Suke Quto coffee at Vortex this month will directly benefit the school. Photo courtesy of Vortex Doughnuts

Not many of us stop to think about where our morning coffee comes from, who grew it and what challenges those growers and their communities are facing. The teams at Vortex Doughnuts and 1000 Faces Coffee want to encourage these discussions through a short-term partnership with The Chain Collaborative, a coffeecentric nonprofit organization. Vortex owner Ben Myers praises The Chain Collaborative as a “wonderful new organization for people interested in coffee politics and sustainability to engage with.”

Coffee cherries at the Suke Quto Farm in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of Vortex Doughnuts
Coffee cherries at the Suke Quto Farm in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of Vortex Doughnuts

In the spirit of collaboration and engagement, Vortex Doughnuts is brewing Ethiopian coffee from Suke Quto Farm beginning Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through the end of this month. Baristas will be stationed at a stand-alone pour-over bar in the South Slope shop explaining and brewing two different processes (washed and pulp natural).

The coffee will be available by donation. In addition to all proceeds from the pour-­over bar, $1 from the sale of each bag of Suke Quto coffee will go directly to helping fund a new school in the region where the coffee farmers work.

Myers says the choice to offer the coffee in a separate pour-over bar fits well with the goal of raising awareness and encouraging conversation. “Pour-overs are a great way for creating a little more space and intimacy around a shared coffee experience,” says Myers. “We like to offer pour-overs, in addition to batch-brewing, as a way of highlighting a single origin and making the space for communion around the cup.”

In addition to feeling good about contributing to the coffee farming community, Myers adds that the Suke Quto is simply a delicious coffee. “We strive to work with coffee producers that have a holistic understanding of where taste derives from,” says Myers. “It starts with the soil and how we cultivate the origins of our product. Without good soil, the world is a wasteland. Suke Quto is a leader in cultivating great, organic wild coffee.”

After all, says Myers, giving back to grower communities benefits both parties. “Great coffee begins with great relationships. The trust that is created in face-to-face meetings is an intangible ally to the future success of our industry as a whole.”

Vortex Doughnuts is at 32 Banks Ave. Learn more about The Chain Collaborative at thechaincollaborative.org.

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About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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