Fair Trade unveils new coffee blends

By Danielle Feole
November 1, 2007

Megan Pellegrino

In honor of Fair Trade month, Jazzman’s and Sodoxho unveiled two new coffee blends: Costa Rica tarrazu and Ethiopia oromia cooperative.

Fair Trade coffee is coffee grown by independent family farmers in poor countries.

Fair Trade means that coffee companies in the United States and elsewhere are paying the farmers a fair living wage to grow the beans. Most coffee companies often do not pay a fair wage to farmers.

On Wednesday Oct. 17, CRS ambassadors for Fair Trade, Jessica Zawrotny, Yadi Toledo and Patricia Sheehan, opened up doors to Fair Trade coffee to Cabrini by running a stand in Jazzman’s from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to spread awareness.

The stand offered a coffee sampling of two new Fair Trade blends and also the Fair Trade organic blend that Jazzman’s and Sodoxho unveiled last spring.

The ambassadors handed out a variety of pamphlets containing information about Fair Trade. Introducing these blends brings more awareness of Fair Trade to the campus and community.

Jessica Zawrotny, a junior psychology and special education major, said, “We’ve had a pretty great response from staff and faculty. It’s exciting that they can actually buy blends in Jazzman’s and bring Fair Trade home.”

Coffee may take 10 minutes for someone in America to brew, but in other countries coffee brewing takes much time out of an individual’s everyday schedule.

Brenna Bangs, a senior secondary education major, had a Catholic Relief Services international internship from June to August of this past summer, in Ethiopia, Africa. Ethiopia is where one of the new blends originated.

According to Bangs, she traveled through many cities in Ethiopia and focused on the educational aspect of the poverty-filled cities in Ethiopia.

Bangs was able to witness an actual coffee ceremony from an Ethiopian maid that worked for the family she stayed with overseas.

According to Bangs, a coffee ceremony is a one-to-two hour process and you should stay for at least three rounds.

Bangs said, “It’s kind of hard to stay for three rounds since it’s so strong.”

The coffee ceremony is a very special ceremony in Ethiopia. The coffee is made around a presentation of grass and flowers and the aroma of incense.

First, the coffee beans are washed. After being washed, they are roasted on an iron stove and put into a pot for quite a bit of time. Once out of the pot, the beans are mashed with a wooden stick. After being mashed, it is put into a jar and the brewing process begins.

The coffee brewing process paints the picture of how much time everyday a person in Ethiopia spends on making something as simple as coffee.

Patricia Sheehan, a senior English and communications major, said in an e-mail, “I hope that in the future, even more Fair Trade products will become available on campus like fruit and sugar. My hope is that the word will spread about Fair Trade and there will be an even greater push for these products to become available.”

Danielle Feole

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