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Coffee & Giving Back

We did a coffee tasting this week for a client and it was awesome. As I was prepping the french presses and numbering all the cups (you better believe it was a blind tasting), people kept asking me, "What does tasting coffee have to do with businesses giving back?"

Everything. You knew I was going to say that, huh? 

The true test of a brand that cares is to take a look under their hood, and into their supply chain. The client we did a coffee tasting for is a hotel brand that has a stunning dude ranch in Montana. It's beyond dreamy. They are so passionate about giving back AND being sustainable that they want every touch point possible to say to their guests, "we care about you and the world, not just business". 


We looked at one of the tiny, but actually huge parts of their hospitality footprint, which is coffee. It's in the restaurant, served in the souvenir store, and in every single room. So we decided to see what local Montana coffee roasters were doing. Supporting local is one element of keeping your carbon footprint low, while also supporting small business and the economy. We found the most ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly coffee roasters and sat down to taste test them. 

The process was fun and rewarding. We found a local brand that is in total alignment with us, and now we get to actually and truthfully say we have sourced the "best" local coffee for our guests. 

That is what a real deal company does when they want to make an impact. You look at every nook and cranny and say, how can we make this more authentic, more generous, and overall better for the world. Then you have to act and make it happen.

 Our winning coffee, Hunter Bay! 

Our winning coffee, Hunter Bay! 


1. Define what your goal is

We were looking for Montana coffee roasters to partner with for both in-room and in the restaurant/bar. We hoped to share their story with guests so as to create a heightened awareness to what Montana has to offer, as well as to enhance our brand and our commitment to authentic Montana and the community.

2. Outline what a good partner will have:

·      An excellent product

·      Strong marketing presence 

·      Match our ethics and sustainability standards

3. Gather the equipment needed:

·      5 unique french presses and 5 sets of 5 tasting cups (heat sensitive) 

·      5 labels (can use Post-its)

·      Water (room temp still and sparkling) and Saltines for each participant to cleanse the palette

4. Outline how to taste the coffee:

(1)    smell (2) slurp (3) locate and (4) describe

1.     Smell the grounds and the coffee in the cup

2.     Take a sip (once cool enough)

3.     Locate the flavors on your tongue

4.     Describe the flavors

5. Create a score sheet with space for notes so participants can remember what they liked and didn't like. 

We used a 1 to 5 scale (5 being the best) and found that there was a good consensus of 4s and 5s for the coffee we chose to partner with. 

6. Discuss after each taste, and then in total decide the favorites

7. Reveal all the coffees! 

This was the most fun - to see which packages matched which flavors. We were so happy that the coffee we liked the most also was the most sustainable and equally as passionate about ethics. Win win!