A partnership between Oakland Coffee Works and San Francisco Bay Coffee Company is bringing to market coffee’s fourth wave: organic coffee in fully compostable packaging that will stymie the flow of mountains of coffee-related garbage.
Oakland Coffee Works, owned by Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong, is introducing the first fully compostable coffee packaging this week to four Bay Area Costco stores, Costco.com and on Amazon.com.
“It’s no-compromise coffee.”
“First there was diner coffee, then there was Starbucks and then came the third wave – what I call ‘skinny jeans’ or artisan coffee – but this is the next level: organic, high-quality coffee that fairly supports the farmers who grow it and that comes in compostable packaging,” said Mike Dirnt, a long-time coffee enthusiast and bassist for Green Day.
To create fully compostable packaging has been no small effort.
Mike, Billie and the Oakland Coffee team went looking for sustainable solutions as they were developing their brand. They were intentional in the impact they wanted to make: to offer sustainably farmed, damn good organic coffee, and do business differently. To support the farmers and their communities, and offer products with a minimal footprint on the environment.
But no one made a completely compostable bag that had all the benefits of a conventional petroleum-based bag in terms of keeping coffee fresh.
They found like-minded partners at San Francisco Bay Coffee Company, who were on a similar mission, to find (and fund) compostable packaging that would change the game on waste and force the industry to change, too.
“We’re a family-owned company, and we care a lot about our impact and the legacy we’re leaving for our kids,” said John Rogers, one of three generations of the Rogers Family who run the privately held San Francisco Bay Coffee Company. “We wanted to be a company that solved the waste problem for the coffee industry so we invested years of work and more than $2 million developing compostable technology."
"Our goal is to influence the rest of the industry to adopt it, too. Mike and Billie wanted to do the same thing so we partnered so we could really make an impact.”
The goal for both companies is to move the needle on coffee-related waste – which is a huge problem.
“We want consumers to have a choice that doesn’t require a compromise. You don’t have to drink crap coffee, you don’t have to support exploitation of coffee workers, you don’t have to pay more than you’re paying for competitors’ blends – and you don’t have to live with the guilt of contributing to the massive mountain of waste that other giant coffee companies don’t seem to care about,” said Mike.
“If that’s appealing, then we’re inviting coffee drinkers to ride the fourth wave with us. We believe it will make a difference.”
About Oakland Coffee Works
Based in Oakland, California, a hotbed for coffee culture in America, Oakland Coffee is the first coffee company in the world to exclusively sell organic and fairly traded coffee products in packaging made from fully compostable materials.
After years of initial research and development efforts, Oakland Coffee has produced the Atomic Garden Blend whole bean coffee. This premium-origin blend is made from 100% organic, high-quality beans from Colombia and Honduras. Oakland Coffee also offers its Fourth Wave blend in single-serve cups made from fully compostable materials, a similar roast that has been fine-tuned to brew best in a single-serve machine. This blend incorporates beans from organic farms in Peru and Honduras to deliver a smooth, full-bodied taste.
With a commitment to bettering both the planet and its people, following a visit of organic farms in Peru in 2013, Oakland Coffee also established Fueled by Love, a charitable organization dedicated to providing funding and infrastructure at the grass roots level to assist communities in the regions where the coffee beans are grown. Working together with dedicated partners at non-profit organization Crescendos Alliance, initial projects have included support for a new clinic in a region lacking emergency medical care, specialist water-testing to evaluate the integrity of the village’s water supply, establishing a local learning center to support the community’s need for childhood educational resources and initiatives to provide youth counseling in the area.
Led by the revolutionary thinking of Mike and Billie Joe and fueled by their resolve not to accept the status quo, Oakland Coffee's mission is to demonstrate that something can always be done. There is a better and more sustainable way to live and work, and there is no excuse for continuing the cycle of waste brought by single-use packaging. The technology and the solution do exist, and the time for change is now. Oakland Coffee welcomes other companies and individuals to make the change, and to join the revolution.
Oakland Coffee products are now available directly at Bay Area Costco locations and online through Amazon.com, Costco.com and in select retail stores with plans to expand retail presence in early 2017.
About San Francisco Bay Coffee Company – a Rogers Family Company
Headquartered in Lincoln, California, San Francisco Bay Coffee Company roasts, packages and supplies Fairly Traded, whole-bean, ground and single-serve coffees including organic lines as well as tea to retail, wholesale and individual customers. A pioneer of so-called “Direct Trade,” the family-owned and operated coffee roaster is committed to social and environmental responsibility.