Bay Roasters - San Francisco

Friday, February 14, 2020

“We would love to see a ban on not just 
straws, but also single-use items like cups.”

This month Dialogue is zeroing in on sustainability in the coffee industry. Bay Roasters, based out of San Francisco, is the first sustainable coffee subscription. This struck me because coffee subscriptions have become so trendy lately, but lack authenticity. Bay goes further with their 100% compostable packaging and shipping labels. They also make composting approachable and clear on their site. I connected with the founders, Alex and Lea, to get more insight on bringing sustainability to the coffee industry.

Who are a few of your favorite coffee roasters? 
We're biased, but it would have to be some of the roasters we've worked with so far including; Proyecto Diaz based in San Leandro, California, 3-19 Coffee based in Berkeley, and this month's featured roaster, Flywheel, based in SF. We're excited to work with more of our favorites in 2020 :)

What are key things that get your attention about a roaster you want to feature? 
Roasters who share our mission! We love to support local businesses and therefore work with small-scale roasters. It's imperative that our featured roasters build + develop close relationships with their coffee farmers and pay them fair prices for their coffee. Our roasters take the time to visit their coffee farmers and farms around the world, which we believe is meaningful. This is vital to our "economic sustainability" mission. 

Of course, the coffee needs to be great. When we find roasters who have unique roasts and blends, that's a big win for us. 

What would you like to change/affect, for the better, in the coffee industry? 
According to, 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year. These cups are laminated with plastic on the inside which make them difficult to be recycled. Lids are another source of plastic waste. Coffee is a huge source of wasteglobally. We want to encourage coffee lovers and drinkers alike to bring more reusable cups to their coffee shop, but we also want to empower them to make coffee right at home! 1) It saves money in the long-term and 2) It's more convenient and sustainable. 

Do you see the coffee industry accepting climate change and shifting the way we source and drink coffee? 
Unfortunately, no. This is an accessibility issue. While some cities on the West Coast (ex: Seattle, San Francisco) have industrial composting facilities which make it easier for cafes and coffee shops to provide compostable cups, etc. — the majority of cities cannot scale composting yet. One way to address climate change in the coffee industry is to introduce composting. Coffee is incredibly easy to compost! We would love to see a ban on not just straws, but also single-use items like cups. Reusable alternatives should be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. 

Please share your favorite way of brewing coffee at home.
We are big fans of the Chemex :) Our other favorite hack is to make cold brew in our french press by leaving it in the fridge overnight. 

Join the conversation!

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