Direct Tradecoffee is when roasters buy their beans directly from farms and cooperatives, not from brokers. The roaster travels to the farms allowing a firsthand look at the environmental, social and agricultural practices of the farm in regard to their coffee growing practices. This allows the roaster to maintain intensive communication between the roaster & farmer other times during the year. Direct Trade allows the elimination of both the traditional middleman and the organizations that control expensive certifications (such as Fair Trade & Bird Friendly) with honorable yet narrow focus on practice alone. Certifying Organizations relate to how a coffee is grown but offer no assurance both on quality and flavor. Direct Trade companies, on the other hand, see ecologically sound agriculture and prices beyond Fair Trade, both as sound business practice and as a route to even better tasting coffee. By spending time each year actually ON the farm, roasters seek to offer coffee that is produced as well as it can be, bought responsibly and roasted carefully. The aim of the roaster is simply, to sell the best coffee possible.
Trailside Coffee uses Williamsburg Coffee who is committed to being a Direct Trade Roaster. Todd Arnette is the owner & master roaster at Williamsburg Coffee who believes that buying directly from the farmers and farming cooperatives is the most sustainable coffee. He travels to the farms he buys from and spends time working with the farmers with the goal of helping them produce more sustainable as well as better quality coffee. According to Williamsburg Coffee the pillars of sustainability are:
- Environmentally sustainable: no pesticide use, clean water use, bird habitat safety and good farming practices and abiding by UTZ certified code of conduct (a set of social and environmental criteria for responsible coffee growing practices and efficient farm management: www.utzcertified.org.com ).
- Socially Sustainable: making available to workers on the farms things such as: clean water, schools (adult and child education), homes, proper wages and healthcare.
- Economically Sustainable: paying premium prices for better coffee, not buying at set minimum.
Todd believes that “buying direct from the farmers has the greatest economic benefit. Once farming is economically sustainable, then and only then, can the farmer or cooperative make meaningful long term investments in socially or environmentally sustainable projects that span multiple years.”
Trailside Coffee is the only coffee shop in the area committed to using only Direct Trade & Sustainable coffee & espresso. All brew coffee in the shop meets such requirements and all our espresso drinks are made with Direct Trade Espresso. Come taste the difference that Sustainability makes in the quality of your coffee. We offer traditional air pot brewing but encourage everyone to try a ‘Personal Brew method’ where the coffee is ground and made for you specifically when ordered. We have a number of direct trade coffees available from a number of different coffee growing regions at all times.
In addition to being the only one to serve Direct Trade Coffee in the area, we are also the only coffee shop in the area with an ABC ON license! We offer a variety of choices of Beer, Virginia Wine, liquor and mixers as well as a variety of specialty drinks such as Daiquiris, margaritas, Pina Coladas, Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas and more! Happy Hours Mon, Tues & Wednesday 5pm to 7pm. Come sit on our patio with your family and take in stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while enjoying any number of our fine beverages or food menu items. We have something for everyone, young and old!