Coffee with Andrew: Organic Coffee Farming

From the very beginning of Andrew’s career in coffee, he was interested in pursuing organic coffees. Today, we talked with Andrew about his commitment to organic farming and where Linea is going in the future with regards to sustainability and organic coffee.



Tell us about where your passion for organic farming started?

When I moved to Sonoma County, in the Eighties, one of the things I thought I would do is become an organic vegetable farmer. I was really interested in organic growing practices and wanted to participate in that movement.
The person that I truly consider my hero and mentor in organic farming is Paulino Almeida. Paulino was implementing biodynamic farming practices in the early 2000s in Brazil. I visited his farm in 2003 I was inspired by what I saw. The soil was healthy, there was wildlife on the farm and everything just seemed to be in harmony. He was practicing regenerative soil techniques that sequesters carbon.  Beyond that, his coffees tasted amazing. This was a pivotal moment when I saw that you could farm coffee in a way that was good for the planet and good for the taste.

You recently updated your mission statement to focus on the goal of “Taking action to protect our sweet earth” Can you talk about that and how you will accomplish this?

Yes, I’ve spent the last 20+ years working in coffee and the thing that has inspired me the most is trying to be a company that helps, not hurts the planet with what we contribute. We are re-committing to this effort by expanding our organic coffee offerings with the goal of having a majority of our coffees be organic. We recently became certified organic and have instituted processes in our roastery and cafes to reduce waste. We also just partnered with Zero Foodprint and will be donating 1% of our café sales to their work.


Tell us about Zero Foodprint…

Zero Foodprint was started by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz. Anthony was an early collaborator with Linea when we opened on 18th Street. Even back then, his businesses were focused on giving back to the planet. I’ve always respected his values with regard to protecting the planet.

Zero Foodprint aims to fund renewable farming practices in a virtuous circle by adding a 1% charge to the meals (and cups of coffee) we consume. Healthy soil could sequester all the carbon humans emit if farmers were to adopt new farming practices. This methodology really appeals to me as it harkens back to the things that inspired me about Paulino Almeida’s farm. I want Linea to be a part of that change.