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PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER – January 19, 2011 Kyoto Coffee at Portage place offers a green way to get your caffeine January 20, 2011

Filed under: Environmental — Tracy @ 2:18 am

Kyoto Coffee at Portage place offers a green way to get your caffeine
Gardening
Posted 19 hours ago
Examiner article

For many of us, tolerating the pre-noon hours without a cup of coffee just wouldn’t be possible. Local coffee roaster, Tracy Cosburn, owner of Kyoto Coffee, understands the importance of coffee in our lives, but also believes it must be produced and consumed with as little impact on the environment as possible.

Cosburn, a true coffee connoisseur, works hard every day to ensure sure the coffee she sells is sustainable and eco-friendly by taking a variety of different steps outlined below.

This week’s column is written by Christian Leah, a Peterborough Green-Up sustainable business program volunteer, and profiles this local coffee company that is truly unique to Peterborough.

When Tracy Cosburn decided to start a coffee business in May 2007, it was with two motivations in mind.

The first and most obvious is that Cosburn has passion for fresh, pure coffee and second, to promote awareness for the environment while providing honest trade to small coffee farmers and cooperatives. The result was Kyoto Coffee, a Peterborough-based company that serves up fresh 100% coffee, sourced from environmentally and socially responsible producers.

The topic of coffee production and distribution is an extensive one. While those details can be saved for another discussion, it is worth noting that the selection of coffee Kyoto offers is 100% organic.

One hundred percent means pure coffee, not the unripe fruit, bark, dirt and chemicals that can make up to 30% of many other coffee products available today. The benefits of organic coffee include environmental conservation, protection of the wildlife in those ecosystems the coffee is grown, a better price for the farmers utilizing sustainable techniques, and a great tasting final product.

Kyoto tries to obtain ethically produced coffee as often as possible. Rainforest Alliance, Bird Friendly, and Café Femenino are some of Tracy’s favourite programs. Rainforest Alliance and Bird Friendly certified coffees are produced under a vigorous set of environmental and labour standards. Café Femenino is a program benefiting women coffee farmers in rural communities worldwide. The program began with the aim of protecting female coffee producers against the issues of inequality, poverty, abuse and exploitation.

In addition to sourcing responsible coffee products, Kyoto acts as an environmentally responsible business by recycling as much as possible, up-cycling products, promoting local farmers, and supporting the local community.

Leftover coffee grinds are used by a local farm as topsoil. Used cups are collected by local farmers to be used as temporary plant pots. Coffee bags and beans are used by local artisans to make a variety of products including aprons, coffee sleeves, jewelry, paintings and coasters.

Everything from stir sticks to milk containers have been collected by Kyoto customers for a variety of uses. All packaging materials are biodegradable and customers who bring their own coffee mug are offered a discount on the purchase of coffee. In essence, responsible and ethical considerations are factored into every business function and product the company offers.

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Keeping the local community in mind, Tracy offers dozens of different products at the Kyoto Café from local businesses that in turn sell her coffee. She offers everything from cookies, scones, and biscotti, to spices, sauces and pickles. Tracy is involved in countless community development programs and fundraisers and donates a portion of Zimbabwe “Fair Fare” coffee to Brian Nichol’s efforts at the Mercy Hospital.

She also gives many lectures and seminars on coffee and roasting and has tried to pass on her experience to her employees. As she says “sustainability means sharing your knowledge.” She makes sure to compensate her employees fairly and has even assisted them in starting their own businesses.

Kyoto Coffee products are available at various locations in Peterborough and the surrounding area, farmers markets and county fairs, as well as the Kyoto Café at Portage Place Mall, 1154 Chemong Road.

Article ID# 2936184

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