The more we know and do, the better we all will be.



Feb 04

From Organic to Fair-Trade, to…Carbon Negative?

from organic to fair-trade

First it was organic, then it was fair-trade, and now coffee roasters are looking for new ways to be more sustainable. Pioneering a new path is coffee company, Tiny Footprint Coffee. However, rather than solely focusing on the sustainability of the coffee (that’s VERY important too), we’ve chosen a new path – one that incorporates the best of the existing sustainability practices in the coffee world (i.e. organic, Fair-Trade, Rainforest Alliance, etc), and combines a mission that is unique to us – reforestation in Ecuador. No other coffee can share our story – carbon negative coffee.

Each pound contributes to the reforestation of Ecuador’s Mindo Cloudforest. It takes us 4 pounds of CO2 to grow, harvest, ship, roast and package one pound of our coffee beans. So we plant trees that over time will suck 54 lbs of CO2 from the air, resulting in 50 lbs of karma goodness per bag.

But that’s not all. Our efforts with the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation are also protecting rare and endangered bird species, while creating jobs for local farmers to aid in the care and redevelopment of the Cloudforest – one of the wettest, most bio-diverse regions in the world.

Tiny Footprint’s Beginnings

Brothers Alan and Brian Krohnke conceptualized the idea of funding reforestation through coffee sales about two years ago. Alan, a 15-year veteran in the coffee business, co-owns a Minneapolis roastery called Roastery 7. His older brother, Brian, co-founded and is the President of an Ecuadorian non-profit conservation and environmental group called The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (MCF). After years of preserving chunks of Cloudforest, the MCF realized a dire need for reforestation efforts in the region and received a grant to legitimize the reforestation project.

They were then left with one lurking question: How in the world do we market this thing? Enter Pocket Hercules, a small and nimble branding powerhouse based in Minneapolis, MN. Pocket Hercules joined the mission, created the brand, identity, packaging, and website, and became the third partner. Three organizations united for one cause – a better planet for generations to come….well, and a darn good cup of coffee.

Today, Tiny Footprint can be found at places like Gustavus Adolphus College, and Medtronic, Northwestern College, the MN History Center through Bon Appétit Management Company. The response has been fantastic. This winter a group of Gustavus students volunteered their efforts to help plant trees in Ecuador as part of the Tiny Footprint mission. Our goal is to deepen our relationship with our partners, and create those experiences that go beyond the cup of coffee and into the cloudforest.

How’s the Coffee?

The coffee is organic, 100% Arabica bean and shade-grown on a number of small, family owned farms around the world known for producing high quality, sustainable coffee. We combine the best of environmentalism with a passion for artisan-roasted coffee.

It’s roasted in small batches on a vintage, German-built “Probat” roaster that was retrofitted with computer controls and modern, fuel-efficient ribbon burners. This not only reduces and controls energy usage, but also ensures a perfect, consistent roast each time.

Ways 2 Go Green

By drinking Tiny Footprint Coffee, you are contributing to the preservation and restoration of Ecuador’s Mindo Cloudforest. This process not only protects wildlife and provides jobs, but also sequesters carbon emissions from the atmosphere. If you drink coffee, and you’ve committed to sustainable coffee, and/or high quality coffee, then adding Tiny Footprint to your morning routine, late night studies, or post-lunch food coma is one of the simplest ways to go green.

Contact Tiny Footprint Coffee for more information on where to buy, more about the coffee, how to get it into your office, school, etc, or simply to say “hello!”

Tiny Footprint Coffee


1 comment

  1. Tim Anderson

    Really educative bless you, It looks like your visitors could quite possibly want a great deal more stories like that maintain the great effort.

Leave a Reply