St. Clare Coffee

A relationally focused coffee venture of Saint Frank Coffee

More than a Cup of Coffee

Our team had the opportunity to travel to Northern Thailand and explore the coffee farms in the area. Below is a little about one of our barista's experience on the trip.

Keeya picking her first coffee cherries. 

Keeya picking her first coffee cherries. 

My trip to Thailand was a great learning experience. It opened my eyes to a whole new side of coffee. This trip impacted me especially because I now understand the hard work that farmers put into producing the coffee. It made me want to work harder in what I do and how I understand the coffee that I make at St. Clare. I'm also able to teach others more about the process, which really excites me.  The way the farmers were so committed to what they do encouraged me to never quit on something that means a lot to me. I found it refreshing that they were not all so consumed with materialistic things like we are in America. They live simply, but with a lot of passion for what they do. I was so happy to see the whole process of coffee; not only did I get to see it... I got to be a part of it! I picked cherries off a coffee tree  and learned new vocabulary related to the farming process. I even got to help the farmers put some of the cherries into the pulper and watch the cherry transform from a cherry to a bean. This is the kind of information I am so excited to share with our customers and friends.

Walking to Betu and Anusorn's coffee farms
Freshly picked coffee cherries

Our trip also opened my eyes to a new kind of poverty. We visited an orphanage in Chang Saen that is run by our partners at Not For Sale. Not For Sale is a global Anti-Trafficking organization based in the Bay Area but has projects all around the globe. Before St. Clare, I was actually with Not For Sale's cafe called Dignita. They were my initial connection to St. Clare, which made it even more significant for me to visit an overseas project run by the organization that changed my life. Going to the orphanage and seeing that the children were so excited to do activities with me made me so happy to be with them. They spoke to us (through a translator) about our presence and how it helped motivate them to stay strong, keep going, and live up to their dream. Their encouragements to us made me cry. Then they proceeded to gift each of us with a handmade bracelet. Knowing their circumstances, I was very moved. These children don't have a lot, but they were still so willing to give US something! Most of the kids at the orphanage had been involved prior with some form of drug or sex trafficking which is why I felt such a strong connection and care for them. 

 

We are now looking forward to connecting these kids to the farmers one day in the future! This has the potential to be an amazing connection which may give the children similar opportunities I have had through coffee. I am truly blessed to have experienced Thailand and to have a great team like Saint Frank/St. Clare to share this experience with.

- Keeya Edwards (St. Clare Barista)

Words: Keeya Edwards
Photos: Michelle Park

Our whole team and partners of Saint Frank, St. Clare, Not For Sale and Lanna Coffee.  

Our whole team and partners of Saint Frank, St. Clare, Not For Sale and Lanna Coffee.  

The Origins of our Inspiration

This past Friday we hosted a screening of A Film About Coffee. The turnout was quite larger than we anticipated and people were even gracious enough to sit on the floor when we ran out of seating. At St. Clare part of our mission is to help people understand the importance of having a seed to cup mentality when buying coffee. Thus, it was incredibly encouraging to see how many people were interested in learning where their coffee comes from. We believe that comprehending where products come from is essential to being a responsible consumer in this day and age. This begins with looking back at the origin of a product and educating oneself on the process taken to develop the final product. While asking questions concerning the sustainability and ethics of the process along the way.

 

One our dear friends Brandon Loper produced the film. It exposes the complexity of the process it takes to make a single cup of coffee. The film beautifully redefines something we take for granted, a cup of coffee, and paints a picture of the reality of the product as something extremely valuable. It delves into a new perspective of enjoying the simple things, making it a must see! If you missed it make sure to check it out on either itunes or vimeo.


Our team has been continuously inspired by this film and now we get to take our inspiration to a whole new level. In just a few days team St. Clare will be leaving for Northern Thailand to source coffee. This is especially exciting for us because in the past Thailand has not been known for producing quality coffee. However we will be meeting with representatives from Akha Ama Coffee and Lanna Coffee that are pioneering the way of specialty coffee in the Northern Thailand region. Stay tuned for all of the stories to come with this epic adventure!

Why our Worthy Granola is Worthy of Your Attention

At St. Clare we’ve had the opportunity to partner with many amazing and talented people. One of our newer relationships we feel very excited about is Worthy Granola. This granola, in our opinion, is the best granola San Francisco has to offer. Here is a brief interview with the founder, Jeanne Norsworthy.

What inspired you to start a granola company?

I love health and making it part of my life’s mission to take care of my own body, as well as, educate others around me about healthy eating. I started out making granola for my own for friends and family. I wasn’t even thinking about starting the company at all. The encouragement to start a company because of worthy granola. A void for granola that had 100 percent ingredients. Everything she feels happy putting in her body. It resonated with a lot of people. Inspired to start her own thing being in the context of San Francisco.

What makes your granola special?

Each batch is still made by hand, which makes it special. The granola is also made with immense care in the sourcing each individual ingredient. The simple classy clear glass packaging helps the product to stand out among other granolas on the shelf. In terms of the flavor profile for the granola, having the unrefined mineral salt really makes it stand out. The original love granola has a salty sweet flavor profile, similar to kettle corn.

Do you offer different flavors of granola?

Original Love is our original flavor and the one we are selling at St. Clare! Cocoa Raspberry Love has some zing. Tart tangy pop of raspberry. All about preference. No difference in sugar content. There are cacao nibs. Bringing back winter spice in select locations. Will be serving it at our brother store, Saint Frank. Warming pumpkin pie spices to it.

How did you come up with the name?

The name came before the company did. My last name is Norsworthy. As I mentioned before, the granola is made with completely natural ingredients that are good for your body. Which makes it absolutely worthy of your attention.

What coffee beverage do you think is the best combination with Worthy Granola?

The sweet steamed milk with the well balanced espresso of a Cappuccino is the perfect combination with the granola. In addition, one secret is steamed milk over the granola! Ask your baristas to steam milk for it next time, you won’t regret it ;)

 

Thailand

If you are a St. Clare fan chances are you also love our specialty drink the Thai Iced Coffee. It is made with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, raw sugar and coffee sourced from the Northern Hills of Thailand. It’s a delicious sweet drink perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Our owner Kevin relationally sources all of our coffees, however our Thai coffee in particular is very special to us as a company.

St. Clare Coffee's signature Thai Iced Coffee.

St. Clare Coffee's signature Thai Iced Coffee.

In February of last year Kevin and myself traveled to Chiang Mai, in the Northern half of Thailand. There we met up with two companies Lanna Coffee and Akha Ama, which were introduced to us by one of our partners, Not For Sale. Thailand has not been known for having great coffee in the past. Coffee was brought over in the 1950s to help get rid of opium being one of the primary crops for farmers because of it’s high profit. When coffee was brought to Thailand however, the farmers were not taught correct production for their terroir, thus making the coffee very low quality. Both Lanna Coffee and Akha Ama Coffee are two companies passionate about making a shift for Thailand to increase quality and produce specialty grade coffee. In hearing about both companies passion Kevin and I got excited about the possibility of discovering new potential partners.

LANNA COFFEE

At one of Lanna Coffee's drying stations.

At one of Lanna Coffee's drying stations.

Packaging green beans at Lanna Coffee.

Packaging green beans at Lanna Coffee.

The whole trip was a fairly last minute endevour, I had never been on a sourcing trip previous to this one. While Kevin on the other hand was quite experienced and so he took full reign and I semi neglected reading the emails concerning the trip. Then about two days before we leave, I get an email from Kevin, CC’d with a man named Mike Mann. Mike is the founder of an organization called International Tribal Development Program or ITDP, that helps build clean water systems in the Northern region of Thailand. The non profit then birthed the coffee company, Lanna Coffee which produces coffee in the same villages ITDP helped bring clean water.

 

What blew my mind though was that when I was 14 I had gone to help build water systems in Northern Thailand with the same organization (ITDP).  At 14 working with ITDP opened up my eyes to a greater perspective than my own personal life of privilege back in the U.S.. Before my original Thailand trip I did not even know that people did not have access to clean water. Now almost 10 years later I got to go and help the same organization continue to find solutions to empower people in Northern Thailand! This connection for me made me even more excited and ready to pursue this relationship with Lanna Coffee.

AKHA AMA

At one of the Akha Ama cafe locations in Chiangmai, Thailand.

At one of the Akha Ama cafe locations in Chiangmai, Thailand.

Picking coffee cherries at Maejantai. 

Picking coffee cherries at Maejantai. 

 

Akha Ama is coffee company also located in Northern Thailand. It was founded by Lee Ayu, who is native to this region. Lee is producing the highest quality of coffee in Northern Thailand and works hard to teach surrounding farmers and villages correct production. He also owns two cafes in Chiangmai while continuing to travel back to his native village, Maejantai to help harvest the coffee alongside his family. We will be sourcing coffee from one of his family members come next year so look out for updates on this beautiful partnership!

Lee Ayu, the owner of Akha Ama, picking coffee cherries on his farm.

Lee Ayu, the owner of Akha Ama, picking coffee cherries on his farm.

Picking coffee cherries on Lee's farm. 

Picking coffee cherries on Lee's farm. 

I have attached an article about Lee below:

http://sprudge.com/thailand-stumptown-lee-ayu-akha-ama-coffee-65803.html

 

All of this to say we are very excited to continue growing with these people and companies. We wanted to share with all of you that without them, your delicious daily cup of coffee, would not be possible!

Thank you for your support,

Kate

 

654 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105
Monday - Friday 8am-4pm

 

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