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2321 Davis St., Unit C
North Chicago, IL


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Coffee for a Cause: Safe Water Coffee

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Coffee for a Cause: Safe Water Coffee

Carrie Masek

We are very thankful for good coffee and the people who love it. This Thanksgiving season, we've decided to bring the two together and do a little good at the same time with our new coffee collection, Coffee for a Cause.

We've been using our coffee to help worthy causes for years. Just last September, our Doggone Good Coffee raised $50 for Paws Chicago. Our PoPS coffees raise money to support a local, independent filmmaker (if you enjoy stories about super heroes, check out his video series Platoon of Power Squadron), and our ReNew Roast helps support the good work of ReNew Communities here in North Chicago, IL.

Coffee for a Cause takes this one step further. We'll create unique coffee blends to help support causes around the world connected to the people, places and/or processes that make coffee possible. Our first Coffee for a Cause concerns something that is as essential to good coffee as it is to life itself: Water.

Safe Water Coffee is a custom blend of Kenya AA and other outstanding African coffees, roasted at a Full City roast level to heighten the coffee's rich flavor and smooth body. The flavor is light and lively with citrus brightness balanced by lemon blossom sweetness and a lingering cocoa finish. Safe Water Coffee is the best of Africa in a cup. In cooperation with a local organization, Drops of Mercy, we’ll donate a dollar from each roast sold to the Water Mission: Mukuru Project. Here's why:

You can't make good coffee with bad water, and it's even harder to stay healthy. Water borne diseases were a major cause of human suffering and death for millennium, and only relatively recently have most of us here in the US had access to consistently clean, safe water. The first national water standards were published in 1914 by the U. S. Public Health Service, and the Safe Drinking Water Act wasn't passed until 1974. Even today, communities like Flint, Michigan, are struggling to provide safe drinking water to their residents. Still, most of us in this country take for granted that our tap water is safe to drink.

The 750,000 residents of Mukuru, the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, aren't so lucky. Without a reliable link to Nairobi's municipal water system, the water collected from jury-rigged plastic pipes or purchased from water brokers is often contaminated with sewage, disease-causing bacteria and parasites, and harmful chemicals. Water borne diseases are the leading cause of death in Mukuru and most of those who die are children under the age of five.

We learned about the water crisis in the slums of Nairobi from one of our customers, who has visited Mukuru and seen the problem first hand. He founded Drops of Mercy. The organization works through the Water Mission: Mukuru Project to distribute Kohler Co. Clarity filters, to families living in Mukuru. The filters allow the families to make water safe in their own home. Using a highly proven ceramic cartridge technology (meeting the stringent standards of the World Health Organization), Clarity filters turn bad water into good to the tune of about 40 liters (nearly 10 gallons) a day.

It only takes $35 to provide a family with one of the Clarity filters, and a single cartridge will clean over 2000 gallons of contaminated water. Here at Coffee by the Roast, we hope our first Coffee for a Cause will raise enough to help at least one family. With any luck, we'll help more. Keep an eye out for our blog posts, and we'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, if you enjoy coffee that's light, lively and rich, if you like the idea doing good and drinking great coffee, please give Safe Water Coffee a try.

Have you ever visited Nairobi? Or do you have a water-related story to share. If so, please join the conversation and share your experience on the Facebook thread or in a comment on this blog. Or, if you'd like to share your thoughts with the wider world, leave us a coffee review on Google or on your favorite review site. Not only do we value your opinions, but reviews help more people find us. Help us connect coffee lovers to fresh, quality coffee!


~ Carrie, Paul and all of us at Coffee by the Roast

You can find more information, or make a direct donation, at Drops of Mercy or the Water Mission: Mukuru Project.