A local coffee roaster has hired a group of experts from across the country to create new styles of coffee with a social mission.
Grand Rapids-based Sparrows Coffee announced a new team of leaders: Head Roaster Cody Gallagher, who worked on the coffee program for the Chicago-based Michelin-rated restaurant Alinea; Head of Product Development and Quality Assurance Tim Novak, who has 20-plus years of experience in the industry and most recently worked an eight-year stint at Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters; and Green Coffee Advisor David Pohl, a licensed Q grader and former head of green coffee for Equator Coffees.
“This team naturally came together. We each share the same attention to detail and intense focus on product quality,” said Lori Slager Wenzel, general manager, Sparrows Coffee.
Sparrows’ new trio of coffee experts collaborated for months to source and roast three new styles of coffee, which now are commercially available: Burundi Kayanza, with notes of citrus marmalade, apricot and bergamot; Honduras RAOS, which offers a profile of caramel, chocolate and hazelnut; and the Colombia Cauca with cherry, chocolate and citrus notes.
“These first three coffees showcase our collective experience and commitment to sourcing and roasting some of the best coffees in the world,” Wenzel said.
Burundi Kayanza and Honduras RAOS are grown and produced entirely by women, according to Sparrows. Through partnerships with local nonprofits, these female farmers receive a premium for the coffee they produce. Colombia Cauca is produced in partnership with the USAID Producers to Markets Alliance, which promotes strengthening the coffee value chain and improving coffee quality in post-conflict regions of Colombia.