Libra Coffee: How to Drink Good, "Pourtable" Coffee While Supporting a Good Cause

WHY LIBRA COFFEE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD GO POURTABLE

Drink coffee (in the wild), give water. That’s Libra Coffee’s newest, modified motto. Once a subscription-only coffee company (one  that specializes in shipping fresh roasted coffee to people’s doorsteps), Libra Coffee has officially gone portable. “Pourtable” that is, as founder and CEO, Eric Medina has coined. No longer does the journey of Eric’s fresh roasted speciality coffee end at the front doors of people’s homes, but at the foot of people’s tents…in the wild. 

In an attempt to bring speciality coffee to outdoor-junkies, and everyone else who is just now embracing the “go outside” lifestyle, Libra Coffee is redefining the idea of “home.” Some say “home is where the heart is,” or home is with your family. But if you’re like us, home is where you drink your coffee. 

But long gone are the days of crappy tin can instant coffee while camping. And for the speciality coffee drinking outdoor-folk, gone are the days of remembering to pack all of your outdoor coffee gear: grinder, Aeropress, or sometimes even a pot and cone dripper. Not to mention your beans, which will likely lose their flavor on a long trek. Good coffee, delivered straight to your tent, or wherever the hell you are in the wild, has finally arrived. All you have to do is add water. 

Despite Eric’s recent shift from subscription coffee to pourtables, Eric’s original mission to deliver clean water to the coffee producing communities around the world has not changed. This was simply a business move to increase subscribers and in turn, continue to do good via clean water. 

He’s able to do this is through a relatively simple water filter that provides two people with clean water for up to five years. All you have to do is sign up for a bean subscription, or buy some pourtables (available in packs of 5 and 10). Simple as that. 

But the original idea to make Libra Coffee a “cause” or “relationship” coffee company,—one that does good for humanity by way of socially conscience, sustainable coffee practices—started well before pourtables were the next best thing.

A MASTER'S DEGREE IN COFFEE?

It was amongst the cobblestoned streets of Trieste, Italy, and their 9 espresso shot a day coffee culture, where Eric was in school pursuing a Master’s Degree in coffee science and economics. A what? You heard it right. A degree in coffee! Coffee geeks, this is what we dream of. Learning everything there is to know about coffee, while drinking it, for 400 hours. Awesome.

On top of coffee all day, every day, Eric also managed to rub elbows with quite the seasoned group of coffee professionals. One of the only Americans in his class, Eric shared the cupping table with children of coffee farmers, many of whom were working towards become roasters, exporters, buyers or even business owners. Thanks to their loads of talent and coffee knowledge, Eric got a quick schooling in the importance of being different, and tapping into a network. 

"The more you learn, the less you know. There is always someone that knows more than me,” Eric explained.

So as he learned more and more about his classmates, almost all of whom hailed from coffee producing regions with poor economic conditions, Eric thereafter realized what is what that he could do to stand out. With a freshly printed Master’s Degree in Coffee Science and Economics in hand, and a dream to do good by coffee, the “Get Coffee. Give Water” motto was born. 

LIBRA COFFEE: THE CAUSE

Next came brand identity, with coffee, water and humanity in clear focus. Take the logo below for example, something that Eric wanted to make sure packed a profound punch. It started with the name, Libra, drawn from the constellation of stars that represents balance and duality. Eric wanted his customers to know that they’re helping someone other than themselves and the roaster, they’re helping the farmers, their families and the community that produced their coffee. You’ll find those values depicted in the split-in-two coffee bean pictured in the middle of the logo. The two water lines are meant to highlight the altruistic cause: clean water for two people for every box/bag of coffee sold. And the sun is meant to represent the environmentally conscience heart of his company. 

The Libra Coffee mural that Eric commissioned from local artist, Sean Dominguez.

The Libra Coffee mural that Eric commissioned from local artist, Sean Dominguez.

Upon his return to the States, it wasn’t long before Eric was once again interacting with his old college buddies. Only this time, is was to figure out how to get these water filters to these remote coffee producing regions throughout the world. Central America and East Africa—where you will currently find Libra’s water filters—Eric’s classmates had him covered. Eric roasts and ships the coffee, and with the help of his former classmates and their contacts, they deliver the water filters. 

Now, keep in mind, world change surely takes time. And Eric has run into his fair share of hurdles. But the point is, Libra Coffee, and the other cause coffee brands out there, are trying.

"I could have played it safer, and not have done something more on the third wave side. But I wanted to be progressive.” I think (why coffee can be a platform for change) has to do with the supply chain. It’s just so obvious. When you go to origin and see where the coffee is grown, and see firsthand the living conditions of these people.”

As a way to compensate for the time that he’s not able to spend at origin, Eric provides clean water to communities in need. I like to think of that as a pretty fair trade, considering the circumstances. Eric’s got a new baby, a wife, a business, and school loans to pay off. I’d say him and his subscribers are doing a pretty good job saving the world one bag of coffee at a time. 

WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT CAUSE COFFEE

So here I am again, drinking coffee, writing about it, and connecting with these amazing people trying to change the world one coffee, one pourtable, one water filter at a time. However they choose to do it, it’s working. And I just hope that you, a coffee lover, occasional drinker or even first time experimenter, can see that.

They say to go “beyond the cup.” They say to be a “conscience buyer.” They say to “do good.” They, the altruistic masterminds behind cause coffee, say lots of things. Many of which are often too tremendous to fathom for most people. At the end of the day, some people just want their cup of coffee. And that’s fine, because cause coffee is not for everyone. But for Eric, his classmates and the entire cause coffee as industry, coffee is not just coffee. Coffee is a platform for change, and Libra Coffee is taking advantage of that. And they're hoping that you do too. 

Once again, to order yourself some Libra Coffee, click here

Do you support any causes like Libra Coffee? Or do you have a favorite coffee subscription service or disposable coffee brewer like Libra’s pourtables that you use? Let us know in the comments section below, or subscribe to our newsletter here