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Alterra Coffee

Sometimes if you want things done right, you have to do them yourself. At least that’s the attitude the founders of Alterra Coffee assumed.

Tastes Just Right

Back in 1993, three guys in Milwaukee, Wisc., were struggling to get a business venture off the ground. If you’ve ever been involved in a startup, you know it requires long hours and money is tight. To have enough cash to pay the bills, these guys took night jobs so their days could be dedicated to the business.

As you can imagine, they were frequently tired and reached for coffee to help stay awake. But they didn’t want any old coffee. They wanted a blend that was strong in caffeine to stay awake, but not over the top. They wanted a blend that was full of flavor, not something that tasted like it sat on a burner for hours and hours.

So the guys taste-tested different brands and couldn’t find anything to satisfy their needs. What to do? Settle for something less than desired? Not these guys. They assumed the attitude that they were going to do it themselves and they were going to do it right.

The three began experimenting with roasting their own beans and finally hit the perfect formula. That was the beginning of Alterra Coffee Roasters, a “hardworking coffee.” Within a year, they opened the first Alterra café where other coffee lovers could enjoy the robust nature of the roasts. Today, a variety of coffees are available in cafés, delivered to offices or enjoyed at home.

Earth Friendly

The company founders not only committed to providing customers with quality coffee, but they’re also committed to working with the communities from which they source the beans. Coffee is such an in-demand crop that, in some growing regions, it’s overplanted and ends up taxing the environment. Also, there are concerns regarding the social equality for the workers tending the plants and picking the coffee cherries. Cognizant of these issues, Alterra executives state on the company website, “We’re committed to sourcing our coffee sustainably and ensure we take a responsible approach to both people and environment at origin.”

To show how serious the company is to this type of farming, it sought the Rainforest Alliance certification. The Rainforest Alliance promotes biodiversity and sustainable farming and business practices. It audits forestry, agriculture and carbon footprints through independent verification processes. The goal is to endorse positive economic policies through high ecological and social standards.

Several Alterra products have been certified through the Rainbow Alliance. Many within the Alterra at Home selection also meet the stringent criteria for Fair Trade and Organic classification.

If you’re not familiar with this brand, but want to see what a “hardworking” coffee tastes like, we suggest you try the House Blend.

FLAVIA ALTERRA Coffee, House Blend, 20-Count Fresh Packs (Pack of 5)

This particular product offers a medium roast for a smooth cup, but only half the caffeine. Nearly one-third of all the beans come from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.