Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fair Trade an affordable price!

One of my favourite things in life is my daily cup of coffee! I have loved coffee since I was about age three or four, as a kid in Ireland, when my dad would save me some of his Nescafe instant coffee, (aka Nasty Nestle) made with milk, in his flask from his lunch at work. The flavour is still in my memory and I remember it as delicious!

Thankfully, those days are a happy memory only. For years, I have only ever used fresh beans, freshly ground each morning, using the best beans I could afford. I used to buy from a local coffee roaster here in my area called Java Moose. I love their products but I would at times find the roasting to be inconsistent and at the time, they did not offer Fair Trade.

I then moved onto Just Us Fair Trade Coffee purchased locally at our Superstore, but the price became to prohibitive, approx. $9-$10 per half pound bag. I then would purchase Starbucks version of Fair Trade coffee (approx. $13 per 1 lb bag) and that was great for a long time, though inconvenient as we had to go to Fredericton to buy our coffee, but we tied it in with a visit to my brother and sister in-law or begged them to bring us some when they travelled to Saint John.

Until....eureka, about three years ago we discovered that Costco not only sells Starbucks under their own brand Kirkland, but it is also Fair Trade and it only costs approx. $13 per 2lb bag!

Another one that they offer and also my favourite, is by a Canadian company called William Spartivento Coffee costing approx. $14 for a 2lb bag!

This is the most beautiful, smooth, rich, full bodied coffee that I love! I wish they offered in other locations closer to home, but I am just so happy to drink it!

So, now we trek to Moncton, which is the closest Costco to us and buy a two month supply of coffee which compared to what we were paying saves us half and we enjoy our day trip and we are supporting Fair Trade! Worth the drive!

But, my other amazing discovery is that Irving Convenience Stores offers a Fair Trade Coffee that is truly delicious! Instead of always hitting Tim Horton's for that quick cup of coffee, I will now go the extra distance to buy a cup of coffee there and support their good effort! I also discovered that they sell their cold slushy drinks or iced coffee's in cups that are totally compostable, made out of corn! If you recycle and compost as we do, you will appreciate that! So, for the first time in a very long time, I actually have to acknowledge these good efforts and the fact that their slushies are only a 99 cents!!!!


restyled home said...

I know you are a coffee snob, but I really have to be a good sister and let you and Andy make TERRIBLE coffee!! Really...I know it sounds harsh, but it's kind of like letting you know when there is lettuce in your teeth. Your coffee is so strong it could breathe life back into a mummy. It has that certain stubbed out cigarettes flavour that would put hair on your chest!! Yep, it's a really foul brew!!
No offence, of course....

Your loving (honest) sister,

onelittlemustardseed said...

uhm..don't you drink $5 bottles of spumanti bambino?? You barely drink coffee and you like it watered down when you do! My more "sophisticated" friends love my coffee! :~) I accept that your taste buds are inferior to mine little sister!!! I still love ya!

Meredith said...

Hi Wendy, I had a conversation with Linda about coffee, and your name came up when I asked if she had a french press. She mentioned you did not care for her coffee. Now, I can not comment, I have not had a cuppa from either of you. However that being said, I am also a "Just Us" fair trade coffee drinker, but as you have found the price is getting up there. So imagine my happiness to read you comments about the coffee at Costco. So I will just have to get myself a bag and make my own conclusions. Thanks Meredith
P.S. thank you also for the Irving tip, I am not a Tim's fan.

restyled home said...

I feel it necessary to correct your previos slanderous statements:
1. It is Baby Canadian, thank you very much, and it costs $8 and does the "trick" very nicely, thank you.
2. I no longer get my coffee watered down.
3. I am more straight up than you considering I drink mine black! Way more chic and urban I might add...
Your YOUNGER sister,

jonathan said...

I'm applaud your interest in Fair Trade but the question ought to be asked, is every bean in the bag fairly traded (bought direct from the farms at a fair price) or just a few?

further investigation leads to a measly 2% of the roasted coffee is actually fair trade.

Go with 100% fair trade!

(look for the Fair Trade Federation Member stamp)

onelittlemustardseed said...

Hi Jonathen,

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that within the bags I am purchasing, that they only contain 2% of beans purchased under Fair Trade?

Or are you suggesting I only purchase from companies that only deal strictly with Fair Trade and exclude Starbucks and Costco because those companies are only purchasing 2% of their beans under Fair Trade?

We need to start somewhere and when companies offer the Fair Trade products and we purchase them, then the market demand will push the percentages up...

Practicalities rule...I live in an area where Fair Trade products aren't as easily available and budget restricts me from purchasing online...driving and hour and a half to get my coffee every 6 weeks seemed like a happy, budget conscious compromise!

It has to start somewhere...

Sounds like the logo given out by Fair Trade might be in need of some standards themselves if they allow or sell the logo to companies for minimums such as 2%.

Perhaps they need a logo showing a grading system so that consumers are aware of what percentage of their overall products come from Fair Trade.

Oh, and the bags are stamped with the Fair Trade there another one I should be aware of with higher standards than this one?

I hope you can share links so that I can check further.

fair trade coffee said...

I was going to ask how did you discover that Kirkland was the same coffee as what Starbucks was offering, then I noticed their name on the bag...I didn't know Starbucks participated in sub-brands like this...very interesting stuff!