When considering our impact on the environment, every participant in the coffee journey has a choice to make. At origin, farmers consider how to sustainably harvest and process their green coffee, and buyers assess their sourcing decisions. At the café, managers evaluate whether to carry dairy milk vs. non-dairy alternatives, and baristas consider ways to save leftover batch brewer coffee. And the coffee consumer contemplates whether to enjoy their coffee in a reusable porcelain mug or take it to-go in a paper cup and plastic lid.
At Urnex, we have asked the same question of ourselves: what can we do as a member of the coffee community to reduce our environmental footprint, protect our planet and inspire others to do the same?
Late last year, we began to answer this question by launching Biocaf, our new line of coffee equipment cleaners that are 100% biodegradable, are sourced from plants and minerals, and are free of phosphates. We were driven to provide coffee professionals with cleaning products designed to have minimal impact on the environment while still ensuring they help them serve great tasting coffee from the cleanest equipment.
But with Biocaf, we want to do more than just help our customers take better care of their equipment with more sustainable cleaners. We want to inspire the coffee community to think critically about all the ways it can play its part in protecting the environment.
That’s why we have partnered with three enormously talented, thoughtful and eloquent coffee professionals and writers to launch the Biocaf Sustainability Series. The goal of this series is to highlight some of the most creative and effective efforts from across the coffee value chain to preserve our environment, and to help lead the conversation of finding a more responsible path forward to taking care of our planet.
The writers of the Biocaf Sustainability Series are incredibly informed and articulate on the subject of coffee sustainability. With their varied backgrounds that include publishing books on reducing coffee waste, organizing the very first zero-emissions latte art throwdown, and teaching SCA-certified sustainability courses, their collective perspectives cover nearly every aspect of the coffee chain. And each of the writers are published authors in the coffee industry’s most trusted publications.
We will publish the features in the Biocaf Sustainability Series each month on the Urnex website. You can keep up with each new feature by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following @biocafcleans on Instagram.
Here are the three all-star individuals that will contribute to the Biocaf Sustainability Series this year:
Erika Koss: Nairobi, Kenya
Currently living in Kenya, Erika Koss is a Research Associate at the University of Nairobi and a PhD candidate in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University. Erika’s research centers on gender equity, sustainability and resilience in the global coffee trade. A former barista and Re:Co Fellow, Erika is also an SCA-certified AST for Introduction to Coffee and the Sustainability Coffee Skills Program. She is currently working on her first book.
Umeko Motoyoshi: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Umeko Motoyoshi is an award-winning coffee writer and educator. A licensed Q-Grader with fourteen years of experience, they founded coffee sustainability platform @wastingcoffee and authored the book Not Wasting Coffee. Umeko is also founder of Umeshiso.com, an online coffee supply shop specializing in rainbow cupping spoons. Umeko’s mission is to make coffee accessible, empowering, and welcoming for people of all backgrounds and identities.
Sierra Wen Xi Yeo: Manchester, England
Apart from her full-time job as Alpro UK's Coffee Specialist, Sierra has her fingers in several pies. Along with founding The Kore Directive, a womxn's coffee professional network and events company based in London in 2018, she also writes in her spare time for coffee publications, which include or have included Perfect Daily Grind, Caffeine Magazine in London, and Barista Magazine among others.