For Greater Goods Roasting Co. words mean something. This socially minded roaster is not only here for the greater good of the Austin coffee scene, but for the entire community.
Supporting three local non-profit organizations, Greater Goods is spreading great coffee, education, and vibes from their Texas hometown and beyond! We caught up with Greater Goods to find out how — and why — they do it.
Why the name Greater Goods?
"Co-founders Khanh Trang and Trey Cobb were giving back to their community way before they started roasting! When the duo decided to shift gears from the car world to the coffee world in 2015, they figured why not use coffee as another way of contributing to the greater good? Greater Good... hey, that kinda sounds like something!"
What is Greater Goods' approach to sourcing?
"We focus on relationship-based sourcing with producers of a similar ethos. Basically, we work with farmers who are as passionate, equitable, environmentally conscious, and quality-driven as we strive to be, and it's our goal to keep buying their coffees for years to come."
Why is giving back so important to Greater Goods?
"Khanh and Trey never had much growing up. When they finally had something to give, it just made sense to give back to the community. All three charities GG partners with - Austin Pets Alive!, Central Texas Food Bank, Autism Society of Texas - have personal ties to Khanh and Trey. They're animal parents, they're no strangers to food scarcity, and autism runs in their families.
We also wanted to know exactly where each donation goes. We're proud to be able to say one bag of coffee supports one day of support for a homeless pet, provides four meals to families in need, and raises $1 to support families affected by autism."
How does Greater Goods name its blends?
"They correlate to our organizations!
Take Me Home supports Austin Pets Alive!, so imagine a rescue Boxer panting out the passenger window, heading to her forever home. I'm getting all warm and fuzzy thinking about it!"
Tell us about Austin's coffee scene.
"Oof! The Austin coffee scene just keeps growing and growing! There seems to be a shop for every aesthetic. The baristas here are talented, welcoming, fun, and creative. A lot of them double as musicians, photographers, designers, and artists.
This question reminds me of the days of old, when we all used to get together for monthly latte art throwdowns hosted by the Austin Coffee Collective. There is a competitive energy for sure, but also a lot of warmth and inclusivity.
I'd say GG functions as a communal meeting space and education hub within the coffee community. We have a state-of-the-art training lab where we hosted coffee cuppings, workshops, and seminars before the pandemic. Now everything is virtual, of course."
How do your virtual classes keep you connected with your community?
"We love teaching coffee as much as we love drinking it! Education has always been a focus of our mission, and a few months after hoping the pandemic would pass and realizing it wasn't so simple, we pivoted online.
The response was, and continues to be, amazing! We currently offer virtual cuppings, home espresso, latte art, and brewing ratios courses. We've seen a lot of familiar faces on Zoom, but we've also been able to connect with new friends from all over the country, many of whom never would've attended a cupping here in Austin otherwise. That's the coolest part for sure!
Some things are more challenging to teach virtually than others (hello latte art), but we plan to continue this option in the future for folks who can't make it down to see us in-person."
What are you most excited about right now?
"Is it crazy to say vaccines?! I miss tasting with people! I miss going to expos, competitions, and throwdowns! As more and more coffee people get vaccinated, it's less of a dream and more of a reality that we'll be back together again soon. That's what I'm most excited about. That, and also this washed PNG we cupped yesterday. Sara G. (editor's note: Sara Gibson, Greater Good's Head Roaster, Green Buyer) really knocked it outta the park with that one."
Where does Greater Goods see itself in the next five years?
"We're going to keep pushing the boundaries of what people consider to be specialty coffee. This means bringing in more adventurous offerings, especially those from traditionally underappreciated origins. Oh, and more competitions — for sure!"
— Miranda Haney, Marketing + Events Coordinator, Head Trainer, Greater Goods Coffee Co. | Austin, Texas