Living Web Farms hosts workshop on flavor and footprint of coffee, Jan. 29

Press release from Living Web Farms:

JANUARY 29TH , 2019 LIVING WEB FARMS presents
COFFEE: ACTIVISM, SUSTAINABILTY, FLAVOR, AND TRADE
6:00-8:00pm
176 Kimzey Road Mills River NC 28759
Coffee Class Explores Flavor, and Footprint of World’s Second Most-Traded Commodity

Powering our work day and many school carpools, coffee is the second most traded commodity after oil, and while specialty and fairtrade coffee is nothing new, many people still don’t consider coffee a necessarily ‘sustainable’ part of their diet. On January 29th, 2019, Living Web Farms presents a class that will meet coffee head on- from the tree all the way to Western NC, asking the question: what’s behind your favorite fair-trade cup of joe?

Mills River, NC- Coffee. Most people drink it every day, and we obsess in our media about whether it is healthy. And while the most current research shows that coffee isn’t a huge health concern provided it’s consumed in moderation, there is still a lot up in the air about the sustainability of the industry. Specialty roasters tout fair trade all day, but reports are still coming in about the exorbitant water resources required to soak green coffee beans, and conscientious consumers are left with many dueling questions about the world’s second most traded commodity.

Many people have accepted that coffee just isn’t sustainable, and have either cut back or cut it out of their diet completely. But, Living Web Farms is willing to bet that there is more to the story. On Tuesday January 29th, 2019, the farm welcomes Josh Gibbs of Dynamite Roasting Company, for a frank conversation about the pros and cons of coffee production, trade, and processing– complete with a cupping, allowing participants to explore the tasty nuance of origin and roast.

“We’re looking at climate change really extensively in this year’s educational program,” says Living Web Farms’ Education and Outreach Coordinator, Meredith Leigh. Recognizing that coffee requires a lot of resources, namely water for processing and energy for extensive transport, Leigh wanted a class that explores some of the other angles of the conversation. “We’re looking at coffee because we know that some of the most promising ways to combat climate change are perennial polycultures, tropical agriculture, investment in women and girls, and preservation of the lands of indigenous peoples all over the world.” Coffee is one commodity that has bearing on all of these topics.

Josh Gibbs is a person who can speak to these topics. As co-owner of Dynamite Roasting Company in Black Mountain, NC, he has deep relationships with coffee farmers and others within the industry. Like many specialty roasters, he doesnt stay in the coffee business because he likes coffee. He stays in  the coffee business because of what coffee can do- for people, land, and communities.

“We’re in such a huge moment of change in the world right now,” Gibbs says. “And coffee, being the 2nd most traded commodity, and us, being in the specialty coffee industry—it gives us some power and with that comes responsibility.”

Gibbs says he is very aware of many of the perceptions and questions people have about coffee, and he is not timid about meeting them head on. “I have my own questions and issues and I have to reckon with myself as well. I do have my own answers, based on experience, and I have knowledge to share. But most of all I am excited to spend time with thoughtful people in important discussion, so I know where to dig deeper and how to make this industry better.”

The conversation about coffee isn’t simple, but what conversation is when you consider sustainability and integrity in the global market? Gibbs and event organizers hope that participants walk away with a greater understanding of coffee from farm to mug, with the ability to see coffee as a true pathway to a healthier planet and happier people. Instead of wondering whether coffee is healthy, or assuming it isn’t so sustainable, why not just start with the beans you buy, and learn what is behind them?

To register for “Coffee: Activism, Sustainability, Flavor, Trade” visit
http://livingwebfarms.org/ workshops/coffee-activism- sustainability-flavor-and-
trade/

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About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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