about a.. is a new section under the sustainability tab of the coffeetographer shedding specific light on the sustainable moves of a brand as we discover them. about a… will highlight bags, boxes and brands that inspire and encourage us to make small and big changes in our everyday coffee consumer culture lives.
This past spring, I first visited Sailor Coffee while in Ecuador, for one of my best, family friend’s wedding. Before then, I was just an instagram stan, you know, someone on Instagram who found a brand she loved and then followed them ever since.
Upon visiting, I was able to put a space to an account handle, a name to its owner and a real-life experience to what I’d only consumed until then, digitally.
While I was impressed with Andrea Salgado, owner of Sailor Coffee’s kindness, hospitality and recommendations before she even knew that I did this webzine called The Coffeetographer, was learning Sailor Coffee’s environmental intentions and its focus on sustainability that really got the little hairs on my arms giving me the goosies.
To think, here she and her team were in Ecuador, with a living brand, that was being not only the epitome of sailing a new path for specialty coffee in these parts, but they were putting their ideas where their receipts were. In fact, one of the sustainable components of Sailor Coffee, is a special propina (tip) that is earmarked on all tickets that goes directly to pay the staff bi-weekly. This ensures that her staff do not have to wait on a waged susceptible to the tourist flux or lack thereof.
Needless to say, three subsequent visits in the spring allowed me to truly sample its menu – food and coffee. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t love. I can still picture the blue teal cups, the square table next to the green suede couch with a view outside its glass doors and the waffles with a side of the most amazing eggs.
What I am especially happy to discover about Sailor Coffee is that its messaging about the environment could be seen all throughout the space. It’s in the of materials (bamboo), it’s in the conscious sale of goods like its cotton re-suable bags, and yes, I bought one, to its sourcing coffee from within the interior of Ecuador.
About four weeks ago while I was in the middle of traveling when a package came for me from Sailor Coffee, via Brooklyn where Salgado also spends time as a resident. Inside was coffee, a couple weeks rested and beautifully so. When I opened the package, chocolate and caramel filled the living room. But my enthrallment was with the bag, by Biotre, which has line drawings of florals and fauna in a powder like blue. The bag feels like soft wax, the kind you’d you use to seal a fancy envelope. We coffee fancy.
What is more, as I allowed my hands to go along the bag, I noticed a three-panel blue sleeve emblazoned on the lower left, with just enough of the pertinent information I as a consumer can consume and will grow to want to know: brand logo and name, roasting origin, type and amount. In the interior fold, there are suggestions for brewing. On the third part of the sleeve, there’s handwritten information which includes naming the producer; Henry Gaibo, region: Pichincha and process: Lavado.
The bag’s outer layer is paper, and its middle layer is wood pulp – both fully compostable and biodegradable. The inner most layer, Salgado explained, is the low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) which has an additive to help break it down faster than average plastic, the latter taking 30 years minimum. This is an excellent move in Sailor Coffee’s goal to raise awareness about the reduction of waste to landfills and oceans.
In addition, Sailor has instituted reusable ceramic cups. Upon purchase, “customers receive a life-long 10% discount on every single coffee purchase,” said Salgado. Yes, you read right. Every.Single.Coffee.Purchase. New limited editions designs are made by hand and released monthly by Ecuadorian artist CalleD Elsa Lama using all-natural ingredients and dye
Now, lets rig our coffee style.