From Seed to Sip: Pour Richard’s Coffee Connects Communities

This article was written as part of the Acel Moore workshop.

Coffee making at Pour Richard's | Tanisha Agrawal
Coffee making at Pour Richard's | Tanisha Agrawal

In Devon, Pa., Pour Richard’s Coffee Co. & Distillery has created a haven for local coffee enthusiasts and farmers worldwide. But for this family-owned café, the aroma of freshly roasted and brewed beans and the cozy environment are merely the cream on top.

Owners Richard and Mj Berman attended college together and found a passion for coffee. Since then, discovering how to ethically and sustainably source this bean has become their mission.

“I’ve learned over the [past] 10 years how amazing coffee can be. But also how important it is to think about where what you purchase comes from and who the people who are cultivating it are,” Richard said.

With the beans coming from developing nations, in some countries forced labor is an industry issue. Companies such as Starbucks are currently facing lawsuits for sourcing coffee from farms where children as young as 8 harvest coffee cherries.

Shelving beans

Driven by a desire to work directly with farmers, the couple sought a direct trade approach and set out to connect with the individuals behind the beans, to understand their stories and advocate for economic sustainability.

In Colombia, the pair partnered with Ivanov Castellanos, a coffee farmer whose family has nurtured coffee beans for generations.

“We share a mutual respect and understanding that goes beyond our professional dealings,” Castellanos said. “We’ve developed a genuine friendship over the years. He even visited my farm a while back, and we’ve continued to maintain a close personal connection ever since.”

The impact of Pour Richard’s partnership with farmers extends beyond Colombia, including countries like Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

“Our model is to highlight the varieties that each farmer grows from harvest to harvest,” Richard Berman said. “We roast coffee, not to burn it, but to illuminate the most flavorful flavor profiles.”

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A scone and coffee from Pour Richard's

Pour Richard’s offers a wide variety of specialty coffees that are washed, semi-washed, and naturally processed, with a few having undergone a fermentation process. These processes are defined by how long the coffee cherry fruit (a.k.a. cascara) sits on the coffee pit, which is the coffee bean, before it is removed.

Customers enjoying their time at the cafe

The diversity in coffee beans also translates into the way Pour Richard’s Coffee Co. & Distillery is run. Whether it be customers, baristas, or farmers, cultivating the coffee is a team effort, and Pour Richard’s offers a space for people of diverse backgrounds to come together and experience a drink that, as its website says, will forever change your concept of coffee!


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