Hooray for coffee roasters!

There are no words to adequately describe the way I feel about coffee. Those magic beans are the highlight of my morning.

Getting tare. That's one heavy jar, now that I think about it.

Getting tare. That’s one heavy jar, now that I think about it.

And afternoon.

And sometimes evening.

I just really love coffee is what I’m saying. And our little tourist trap of a town is lucky to have a few coffee roasters within its boarders. Not all are open to the public, but my favorite one happens to be (perhaps why it IS my favorite, come to think of it), and the owners, aside from being awesome people in general, allow me to bring in a reusable container for purchases.

And even punch my card so I can have a free pound after every 10. And tell me how great I am for bringing my jar.

This whole ordeal is full of win. 🙂

My jar holds 1.3-ish pounds, which is about a month of beans in my world. Here’s how it usually goes down:

  1. Peg’s behind the counter! She’s so great. We chat.
  2. She takes my jar and weighs it to get the tare.
  3. She then takes the jar into the back to fill with beans.
  4. I pet the office dog for a while.
  5. Peg comes back and places the jar onto the scale again.
  6. The scale is set up for tare, so it subtracts the weight of the jar from the weight of the beans.
  7. I hand over my credit card. Buying this locally roasted coffee is more expensive than buying a plastic bin of some industrial coffee, but it’s worth it. Plus these guys have good relationships with their growers, which is important to me, and Peg does a lot of work to help women especially in those villages.
  8. Peg punches my card and I pat the dog one last time and off I go.
Hello, my lovelies!

Hello, my lovely!

I can technically get these beans in bulk at the grocery store, but only the caffeinated ones – and I like to have a jar of decaf, too, because I am old and I’m not willing to be up all night just because I’m too weak to resist coffee in the afternoon. The grocery also doesn’t do the punch card system. If you’re going to buy it anyway, you may as well get something for free, right? Plus it’s on my way home, so I don’t have to make a special stop out of the way somewhere.

This was one of the first steps I took when I started thinking about zero waste, and it’s been the easiest for me to continue. Well, I’m super motivated for coffee, that’s probably part of it, but also it’s thanks to the roasters who support this kind of thing. Even if Peg isn’t behind the counter, whoever is is more than willing to take my jar. I’ve even given lessons on tare to newbies. Just the fact that I know I can go here and not get shut down is everything.

Anyone else get their coffee beans straight from the roasters? Or bring a jar for bulk?

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15 Responses to Hooray for coffee roasters!

  1. I feel that way about tea.I have a canister that says “Where there’s tea there’s hope.” I don’t have a place to buy bulk tea anymore, but I’m going to look into it.

    • We have bulk tea at the grocery AND a tea lounge. Sometimes it pays to be a tourist trap, I guess.

    • Roberta,

      David’s Tea sells tea canisters and tea in bulk. If you bring the empty canister back to refill, you get a small amount off. Not sure if they have one near you.

      • Thanks for the info. They aren’t near me yet (like, by a couple hundred miles). I considered ordering online, but that’s not very zero-waste…

        I will hope that someone local does the canister thing.

  2. I get my organic fair trade coffee beans from the roaster at our local Farmes’ Market. I never thought of bringing in my own container because the little paper bags he puts the beans into go into either the compost or the woodstove when empty – but I may just start bringing my own container or keep reusing the little brown bag.

    We are extremely fortunate where I live to have an amazing compost/recycling programme – and have had for years. I live on the East Coast of Canada on a small island and, several years ago, when we attended my niece’s wedding in Wisconsin, we were appalled to see that everything ended up in the garbage because there were no compost or recycling measures in place. All our restaurants, street corners, etc. have a triple bin system – one for compost, one for recyclables and one for waste. Most of our “garbage” can either be composted or recycled.

    I love what you are doing – very inspiring!

    • Oh, I love all of this! And hey, if you have a use for / are able to compost your paper bag and that’s working for you, keep it up — the problem with jars is that they’re not really made for anything besides sitting in your pantry, and all that bumping around in the bag can cause chips, etc. (That’s another post for another time.)

      I’m envious of your recycling and composting program. I’ve noticed that a lot of college campuses here have the three bin system (tours with Abby), but it’s certainly not widespread. In our downtown area, we have huge garbage cans and tiny recycling bins next to them … and most of the time people just throw their garbage into the recycling too. (Pet peeve.)

      • I also live in Canada (Toronto area). Blue bins (recycling) and green bins (compost) are picked up weekly. Garbage is every 2 weeks with a bag limit (above limit you have to purchase tags). We have the 3 bin system on streets too.

        You have inspired us to use laundry mesh bags for produce. No complaints in checkout line as they can identify the produce. Last night, I asked at butcher counter in a major chain if I could use my own container. After a puzzled look and quick discussion with fish counter guy – received a ‘yes, i guess we could tare your jar then add the meat’. Woohoo!! Now if I can get Bulk Barn to allow the silk bags – they won’t allow as not 100% transparent (even though we would open them to see contents).

        • That three bin system sounds so awesome — I really am jealous! And I love that you’re bringing in bags with you to the store and asked about bringing in your own container for meat — you just blew that guy’s mind! 🙂 I’ve found it’s not so much that people don’t want you to bring your own containers as it is that they’ve never thought about it before and don’t know what to do yet. Or that’s what I tell myself when I get shot down. Which actually doesn’t happen much anymore. And to be honest, writing this blog has helped my confidence go way up on the zero waste front. I feel like I have a little cheering section rooting for me, which is rather a gift.

          Thank you for sharing your experience — I really enjoy hearing what everyone else is up to!

          P.S. Bulk Barn?! That sounds FUN. Is it a store or a co-op or what?

          • Hi Trisha,

            Bulk Barn is a chain of bulk food stores in Canada (bulkbarn.ca). They have mainly dry foods, candy, soap and a few wet items (nut butters, honey). They also sell glass food containers. You can also buy or rent speciality cake pans. We get granola, flour, sugar, oatmeal, seasonal candy, etc. there.

  3. Sounds like you have an excellent coffee-buying ritual! I would love it if a coffee or tea shop would open up near me. I ise a punch card for the bakery at the end of my street to get free cupcakes and we get a free bag of pet food from the post store for our punch card loyalty.

      • I have an entire wallet of punch cards — for the bakery, for the various coffee shops I visit — but nowhere can I get free cupcakes for filling one up! Johanna would be a big fan of that program! I’m not sure how we lucked out on the beverage front, but we’ve got wineries, breweries, cideries, coffee shops and roasters, and a tea shop. All within a few steps of each other for the most part.

  4. I’ve found an online tea delivery (I love my loose tea!) and I was super excited it came in a brown paper bag – but then I discovered the bag has a foil lining 🙁
    Any ideas how to reuse – other than as a sturdy bag for dry goods until it disintegrates!

    • Don’t you just hate it when you think you’re getting one thing and then discover it’s something else? I’ve used similar coffee bags for gift sacks, but I’m not sure that’s any better than just reusing it until it falls apart.

  5. Pingback: Have I ever mentioned that I really love coffee? | The Simple Year

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