Legend has it that coffee – that glorious, brewed beverage that has won the flavor palates of so many – originated from an accidental discovery in Southeast Ethiopia during the 9th century. The story goes that a goat herder named Kaldi discovered the beans by observing his goats begin to dance after they nibbled on the lush red berries of a nearby tree. Kaldi himself then tried the beans and was filled with the same energy and impulse to dance, which led to the spread of coffee and its multitudes of beverage variations.
Now while dancing goats and shepherds make for excellent folklore, the truth is that the origin of coffee amounts to more than a fairytale featuring a man wandering the hillside with his capering herd of livestock. It is an intricate tale woven between farms and roasters, suppliers and consumers.
At Farm to Roast, we move beyond the whimsical myths and legends that depict the genesis of the coffee bean. We want to tell the full story of coffee beans today, and of the hands that harvest the berries long before the beans ever grace your coffee roaster.
With this in mind, our philosophy is pretty simple: we connect roasters to growers. Community doesn’t have to be defined by locality – it doesn’t have to look like neighbors selling pies at a local bake sale or throwing a canned goods drive. Community can be a feeling of fellowship amongst people who have never even met.
By bringing these glimpses of the farmers and their families to you – the roasters and coffee connoisseurs – we hope to give a deeper meaning to direct trade coffee. We hope to use the enthusiasm of dedicated coffee lovers like yourself to revitalize the notion of single origin coffee, and introduce you to a different kind of coffee community than you’ve experienced before. A community that doesn’t just begin and end with a single brew – but a movement of enthusiasts dedicated to growing, sourcing, and roasting high quality, specialty coffees.
So don’t just read about the legend of coffee – Contact Us to help write the story.
Check out our Featured Farms Here
Who we are:
We are a small team located across the coffee world with a US base in Pittsburgh, PA. The stars aligned in late 2015, enabling us to get our startup off the ground and we are excited to get to know and build the network with you!
Chris Griffin – Founder
Chris grew up in a family that afforded him the experience of traveling all over the world and being exposed to a multitude of cultures and economic environments. As Chris progressed through school, he discovered and came to love the wonderful nectar we call coffee – which may have been the single largest contributor to the completion of his engineering degree. It was on these procrastination-laden late nights that he became interested in where his coffee came from. This interest continued as he entered into his professional career, but never gained traction until meeting a friend and co-worker from El Salvador, on the job in corporate America. As Chris learned about the country and its culture, coffee became a common theme which instigated further exploration.
Chris’ education in coffee continued after he took a trip to El Salvador. Seeing the environment, the culture, and learning the stories of the people involved in the coffee trade first-hand heightened his interest and desire to get involved. These experiences have fostered his continued passion for coffee, in taste and origin, and his interest in understanding where this complex bean comes from that touches people the world over. It is this curiosity and his desire to help those with less opportunity that drives Chris to strive to provide excellent single origin coffees from farms in which a direct connection can be established, enabling the story of the coffee to be shared and mutually beneficial, sustainable relationships to be developed.
Elmer Palacios – Sourcing Partner
Elmer was born in Piura, Peru and started his coffee career in 2010 when he was introduced to the Kiva Han Coffee company. Since then, he has developed an infectious passion for coffee and has dedicated himself to quality. He now has lots of experience buying high quality green coffee in South America and Central America. He has earned a wide range of coffee certifications, including both a Roasting and a Barista certificate from SCAE, an International Q Grader qualification, as well as a former role as judge for Expocafe Peru 2013, a high quality coffee competition. He is also the CEO and owner of Palacios Coffee, a small Peruvian coffee company
Elmer loves to travel – especially through the mountains – and enjoys having direct relationships with the product. He loves the challenges that come with his work. Elmer also adores his wife and daughter and when he’s not working, he’s usually trying to make them smile. Elmer also really likes rice and seeks it out whenever he can in his travels.