Most of us don’t contemplate much beyond, “Cappuccino or Latte?” when it comes to coffee. But coffee can be complicated. A particularly complex supply chain makes it easy for us to to skip the questions we’ve begun asking more frequently about our food: Who grew this? Where? How?
The Crop to Cup Coffee Company was founded to answer those questions by connecting the dots from small mountaintop coffee plots in Africa all the way to that steaming morning cup that launches so many of us into each day.
Crop to Cup Coffee has built its brand in Brooklyn through their talent for sourcing the highest quality, mountain grown beans from Uganda and Burundi, and their dedication to putting the spotlight squarely on the farmers who grow them, adding a lot of transparency to a product that isn’t usually associated with farm-to-table food.
Crop to Cup was founded in 2007 by Taylor Mork and Jacob Elster, who became obsessed with coffee while working in Uganda after college. Upon discovering the super high-quality Arabica being grown high in the mountains of the Mount Elgon region and meeting the farmers growing it, they decided to bring some Ugandan black gold back to share with the people of Brooklyn and Chicago.
They started with a shipment of quarter of a container of beans they sourced themselves, and hit the streets to spread the word. They’ve now got a growing wholesale and retail business based out of their laid-back office/coffee shop in Gowanus, and they’re entering their third year at the celebrated Brooklyn Flea. That first shipment of a quarter container has grown to five full containers each year, and you can find their beans in over thirty restaurants, cafes, co-ops and shops throughout the borough.
We met with Crop to Cup vet Alexis Powell-Grossman at their HQ this week to get schooled on the beautifully complex and surprisingly fascinating world of coffee.