Conifer Coffee was born in 2015 as a hobby project. Unlike most other coffee roasters, I had never worked professionally with coffee before starting out on my own. My route to coffee came from a mix of activism, political science and creative overflow, all fueled by great coffee. Conifer is a place where I can play with my weird ideas of design and branding, make intentional mistakes just to try them out, break a few rules and also roast some really good coffee and bring it out to the world.
I get tons of inspiration from the great outdoors, which is right outside the roastery on the Swedish West Coast. Endless woods all the way up to the Arctic ocean. The presence of old, slow-growing and wise conifer trees. Clean air and granite boulders to climb.
On a more serious note, coffee is grown in countries that due to historical and current dominating global policies have become and remain relatively poor. The vast majority of coffee farmers are impoverished to a degree that is inconceivable to most of us who just happen to have been born in the relatively rich part of the world. And of course it’s not isolated to coffee but rather mirroring a general problem of global inequality.
The concept of global inequality is too vast and complicated to really grasp. But ever since I was 16, I’ve looked at coffee as one area where you really can make a difference. Buying a coffee that is produced under socially sustainable conditions is in fact activism. A concrete act of activism. Because it makes a difference to the people who grow that coffee. I’ll be the first to agree that it’s merely a tiny drop in a huge ocean, but at least it’s a drop. At least it’s there. And while it would be better to address the systemic economic injustice on a overarching global level, we just cannot wait till that day comes. Doing what you can here and now matters. So, having said all that, I want Conifer to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. It’s a small operation, but for each bag of coffee we know we’re making a difference. That’s what keeps us going.
The three criteria for our coffees are:
Graded as specialty coffee and scoring above 86 points
Produced under socially sustainable conditions
Produced under environmentally sustainable conditions
That is quiet, ongoing activism. Not the kind of activism that catches headlines, yet still incredibly important for the hard working men and women who rely on coffee for their livelihood.
Thanks for lending a hand!
Benny, founder of Conifer Coffee
Oh, and make sure you follow us on Instagram @conifer.coffee