Today's announcement: Drink 100% Kona Coffee.
If you didn't know, the United States does have a coffee industry. Coffee is grown on the Kona Coast of Hawaii, where I visited this summer on my honeymoon. The climate is perfect -- sunny mornings, foggy afternoons, rain later -- and the volcanic soil is great for coffee. It's grown on small farms, usually family operations, picked by hand and processed in relatively small batches.
Because it's labor intensive -- and because workers are paid a fair wage and treated according to US labor laws -- it is expensive. It's usually about $25 per pound.
But you know where it came from and how the workers were treated. That's worth a lot. And when you consider that one workweek of going to Starbucks can cost $25, suddenly a pound of coffee that'll last a month or two doesn't seem so expensive.
Oh, and did I mention the most important part? It is the most delicious coffee you have ever put in your mouth. You will be spoiled for all other coffees after you drink it. This post came about because my coffee grinder broke this morning, so instead of Greenwell Farms medium-roast, I have reverted to some pre-ground Seattle's Best French roast, and even with cream and sugar I'm struggling.
I think it's best to buy direct from farms. That way you don't run into misleading labels claiming "Kona coffee" when only 10% of the coffee is actually Kona beans (hint: if it costs much less than $25/pound, it isn't real). You can find a list of farms here at the Kona Coffee Council website (on that page, just leave the form blank and click "Find farms and estates"). Since farms sell beans to each other, unless you buy their private reserve coffee, it's all about the same. (I can vouch that Greenwell Farms' private reserve is incredible, but so is their other coffee.)
This is one small way I can buy American and know I'm not supporting worker exploitation. And drink incredible coffee. I recommend it.