Widener University in partnership with a local coffee company has launched its own environmentally-friendly coffee, called “WU Brew,”which will debut on April 22, Earth Day.
University professors and students have traveled to Costa Rica to learn about environmentally sound ways to produce coffee and their new effort will highlight that cause as well as serve as a learning opportunity for students.
The new coffee, which will sell for $13.99 per 12-ounce bag and can be ordered online, is being made in partnership with Golden Valley Farms, a West Chester coffee roaster. Golden Valley, which produces organic, sustainable coffee, was founded by Widener alumnus John Sacharok, and another alumnus, Frank Baldassarre, is principal in the company. The company is importing the beans from Las Lajas, Costa Rica for production of the coffee.
Purchase of the coffee will support research and service-learning opportunities for Widener students to work with farmers in Las Lajas. Sacharok and Baldassarre offered to donate a portion from the sale of every bag of coffee to the students, the university said.
A group of Widener students and faculty recently visited Las Lajas to look at “how the coffee is grown without pesticides or herbicides and under shade trees to preserve bird habitats,” according to a press release from Widener. They helped to harvest the coffee and learned about ways to “reverse damaging agricultural practices in surrounding areas,” the university said.
“We're hoping that this project will help us change the face of agriculture when it comes to growing coffee,” Stephen Madigosky, professor of environmental science, said in a prepared statement. "Much of Costa Rica now looks like Iowa for the mass production of crops. We need to convert these areas back into forests."
The coffee will make its debut from noon to 2 p.m. on Earth Day in the university center. It will soon be sold by the cup on the main campus in the food court, and Aramark, the university’s food service provider, will serve it in the main campus dining hall and at all university events.
The company is making both a dark roast and a medium roast.
Here’s the website for the new coffee: http://www.goldenvalleyfarms.com/WUBrew_s/1831.htm