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Brewing Change: Syra Coffee's Journey Towards Fair Trade, Sustainability, and Inclusivity

Founded in Barcelona in 2015, Syra Coffee's mission is to make good coffee an everyday pleasure. With a focus on simplicity and quality, they view coffee as an experience, not just a drink. They are committed to democratizing good coffee from the farm to the customer, challenging the exclusivity associated with specialty coffee.



Syra Coffee sources seasonal, single-origin, 100% Arabica coffee through direct and fair trade, empowering small-scale farmers. Their socially ethical and environmentally sustainable approach ensures each batch is unique and grown harmoniously with the environment. In essence, Syra Coffee provides high-quality, accessible coffee while positively impacting communities and preserving the integrity of the environment. Let's here more about their journey:



1- Syra Coffee's mission emphasizes direct and fair trade with producers. How has this practice impacted the communities you collaborate with, and what are the most significant benefits for farmers and their families?

Syra Coffee's commitment to direct and fair trade is rooted in the ethos of the Specialty Coffee movement which began in the 1980s. This movement sought to elevate coffee quality, departing from mass-produced, commercial coffee. Such a shift necessitated a transformation in farming practices, moving from sun-grown to shade-grown cultivation, which in turn promotes biodiversity and environmentally sustainable practices.


Our direct trade approach has led to significant benefits for the farming communities. By partnering with small-scale farmers and cooperatives, we have seen them gain better control over their livelihoods, leading to improved living standards, education opportunities, and sustainable farming practices. For example, initiatives like Café de Mujeres, COCARIVE cooperative, Cocatrel Cooperative and various cooperatives we work with are excellent examples of how such practices uplift entire communities.


Our approach differs in our focus on making specialty coffee accessible to a wider audience, thereby contributing to a more significant, positive impact on the industry. Through this, we can forge long-term relationships, offer stability, and support transitions from commercial to specialty coffee, alongside initiatives like Project Waterfall, which provides essential resources like clean water to these communities.


 By partnering with small-scale farmers and cooperatives, we have seen them gain better control over their livelihoods, leading to improved living standards, education opportunities, and sustainable farming practices.

2- Syra Coffee takes pride in offering single-origin coffee. How do you select the farms you collaborate with, and what role does traceability play in the quality of the coffee you provide to the customers?

Our selection process for partnering with farms is meticulous, ensuring that each batch aligns with our high standards for quality and ethical production. We source beans with a minimum cupping score of 83+ from the Specialty Coffee Association. Our decision on which origins to source from is guided by the flavor profiles we aim to provide, reflecting the rich diversity of coffee characteristics globally. While direct relationships with producers are ideal, we sometimes rely on trusted mediators or exporters who align with our values of transparency and ethical practices. Such partnerships are critical in maintaining the traceability and quality of our coffee. For instance, our direct trade with MAV coffee exemplifies our ideal sourcing model, enabling us to maintain a close link between the coffee’s origin and our customers.




3- In you mission, you mention that specialty coffee is not exclusive to a few but for everyone. How are you working to make specialty coffee more accessible to a broader audience, and how do you overcome the stigmas associated with this type of coffee?

Democratising specialty coffee, overcoming its perceived exclusivity, is at the heart of Syra Coffee's mission. We strive to dispel the stigmas often associated with specialty coffee by making it more accessible and inclusive. Our approach involves integrating into local cultures and neighbourhoods, focusing on quality and affordability, and educating our customers about the value and impact of their coffee choices. We believe that once consumers understand and experience the quality of specialty coffee, they are more likely to embrace it fully. This approach not only broadens our customer base but also supports our mission of bringing positive change to the coffee industry.



4- Syra Coffee draws inspiration from the blend of roots, cultures, and traditions. How does this cultural diversity influence the selection of beans and the roasting process to create a unique experience for consumers?

Our roots in Barcelona, a city rich in cultural diversity, significantly influence our approach to coffee sourcing and roasting. Our customer’s and team's varied backgrounds contribute to a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences, which guide our selection of beans. We aim to offer a diverse range of coffee profiles, catering to the unique preferences of our customers. This diversity is not just in the beans we select but also in how we roast them, aiming to bring out the best in each variety, ensuring that every customer finds a coffee that resonates with their unique palate.


Our roots in Barcelona, a city rich in cultural diversity, significantly influence our approach to coffee sourcing and roasting.


5- How does Syra Coffee work to preserve the integrity of the environment in the production process, and what sustainable practices do you implement to minimize their environmental footprint?

Addressing environmental concerns is a critical component of our operations. We actively seek partnerships with farms that are committed to environmentally friendly practices. A notable example is MAV coffee, using biodiversity ingeniously to nearly eliminate pesticide usage. In 2022, nearly half of the coffee we sourced was from farms involved in environmental and social

initiatives. Locally, we have repurposed significant amounts of coffee waste and constantly upgrade our packaging to eco-friendly alternatives. Through Syra Lab, we're exploring new frontiers in sustainability, such as using coffee waste in 3D printing, aiming to inspire broader changes within the industry towards a more circular economy.



In a world where every choice we make has an impact, Syra Coffee is proving that a cup of coffee can be more than just a drink—it can be a catalyst for change. From empowering communities and preserving the planet to celebrating diversity and inclusivity, Syra Coffee's journey is a testament to the power of coffee to brew change.




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