Posted: Aug 13, 2013 3:00 PM by Chet Layman - MTN News
Updated: Aug 13, 2013 7:01 PM
Many coffee businesses claim they support sustainable practices. Buying coffee from farms that care for the land, and from companies that care for the growers. But there's much more to growing a sustainable bean in Brazil and making environmentally-friendly coffee in a mug in Montana.
But a local West Yellowstone businessman is working to make his product even more attractive to environmentally-conscience coffee drinkers.
Although the beans were grown on sustainable farms half a world away, a machine at Morning Glory Coffee in West Yellowstone roasts them.
The fuel required for the roaster and the smoke produced by the process can be concern for those who are claiming to be sustainable.
"We spend a lot of money on our coffee machines or our flooring or on the benches or seats and we love to tell people how great we are," said Chris Burke, owner of Morning Glory Coffee. "When we have an opportunity to make a positive change to kind of close that loop, to say we're doing things correct all the way through the chain, I think we should take that opportunity to do that."
Burke is aiming to change the way his company roasts beans with a new coffee roaster. The roaster, made in Oklahoma, will convert the chimney waste to heat for the next batch of beans.
"We'll be using half the fuel to heat the coffee, for a larger amount of coffee, than we would to roast what we're doing here," said Burke. "It will lower our carbon emissions by 97 percent.
"So, a lower carbon emission, on the border of Yellowstone, and also less fossil fuels needed," he said.
Morning Glory Coffee is busy this time of year, but business slows down in winter. That means Burke's business loan opportunities are limited. So he's turned to the Internet.
He's asking people around the world to donate to his effort to buy the efficient roaster, to help with the down payment.
"We can support the park, we can support our local economy, we can create a product that people remember town and hopefully come back to town or back to Montana," said Burke. "And that what's exciting, it's not just a coffee shop and it's not just a product, it has these multiple levels.
Until he can pay for the new roaster, Burke will continue doing what he's been doing. Buying sustainable beans and roasting them the old fashioned way.
If you'd like to help out, click here and look for Morning Glory Coffee.
UPDATE: Story edited to correct information about roaster information.