At Doma Coffee Roasting Company, our mission is not only to roast the finest quality coffee, but to use business as a springboard to make the world a better place. Our tagline, “Coffee | Culture | Meaning,” is much more than a slogan—it’s a set of closely interconnected principles we have refined during our past decade of business. In a nutshell, these principles include:
• A devotion to handcrafted sustainability that extends to our roasting, purchasing, and operational practices.
• A passion for building a more just and sustainable world, not only in our community and region, but in the source countries where we do business.
• Building transparent, direct relationships with farmers that go above and beyond the standards of fair trade.
• Cultivating a leadership role in our business community and our industry as a sustainable business.
We reject the notion that social justice and quality coffee is a balancing act. Rather, by paying above fair-trade prices and working directly with our farmer suppliers, we gain access to the best commodities. We are not only members, but leaders in Cooperative Coffees. This green bean importing collective, where we buy 80 percent of our beans, is made up of 23 other small-scale roasters who share our commitment to quality and to direct relationships with growers. Co-op Coffees always pays producers well above the standard price for fair trade coffee, while working with grower cooperatives that are certified fair trade and organic. A key component to the co-op is transparency. To that end, we give customers access to the direct paper trail for every coffee transaction through www.fairtradeproof.org.
We roast these high-quality beans with extreme care, working in small batches in our high-efficiency, high-control Loring Smart Roast roaster. We were one of the first companies in the U.S. to purchase a Loring, and while we were guided by our desire for energy efficiency, the roaster offers superb control during our small-batch roasting process.
Our desire is to let each coffee speak for itself and to honor the process and region it comes from. We feel it is our responsibility as roasters to bring out the best in any particular coffee, to roast to the coffee’s full potential so that the bean’s innate qualities are expressed.
Our passion for quality leads us to constantly experiment with new brewing equipment, and we’re frequently among the first in the nation to roll out new equipment. Our cupping and training lab consistently showcases state-of-the-art equipment. We were the first in the U.S., for instance, to use the Kees van der Westen Mirage espresso machine.
In addition to our work with Cooperative Coffees, DOMA invests time, energy, and money in building a better world. Far from detracting from our primary mission of providing excellent coffee, a commitment to sustainability serves our quality goals. As a result, our sustainable practices are inseparable from our business practices as a whole. In part, this is a reflection of our personal values, but it also reflects our belief that a well-planned sustainability program results in higher quality coffee and better business results.
An example is our company giving program. DOMA provides a 10 percent program to non-profit organizations that meet our criteria for environmental stewardship. Our relationship with these recipients, however, goes far beyond financing. We produce coffees and packaging especially designed to promote their work; we attend their events and workshops and promote them on our blog; we get involved on a personal level and encourage our customers to do the same. We hear from these groups that we support that the relationship is rich and helpful.
While it may be more abstract than building direct-trade relationships with farmers or sourcing environmentally friendly packaging, every business decision we make can be traced to a single notion—passion. We bring passion to building meaningful, lasting relationships with growers in far-flung corners of the globe… We bring passion to identifying the perfect roast for their beans… We passionately try to make the world a better place by building sustainability into our fundamental practices and our charitable giving… We honor—and place at the center of our work—the passion we bring to our lives as husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, employers and employees, coffee roasters and drinkers, artists, and lovers of the world. At the end of the day, we’re providing an exceedingly enjoyable beverage to customers who appreciate our work. It’s a little thing, but it’s something to be passionate about.