Green Star Coffee

RedStar Coffee, Santa Barbara’s primary dealer of organic and fair-trade blends since 2003, has at last phased out all traces of coffee that do not meet the roastery’s standards of sustainability, farmworker friendliness, and, of course, plain old tastiness. In the same move, the company is changing its name; come April 20-Earth Day-it will go by the name Green Star Coffee. Co-owner Kevin Donnelly said it was the natural move to make, given his and his business partner’s ideals.

We have a social responsibility,” he said. “We want to change our business practices to become more green, and we’d also love to be a model for other companies to follow, to leave a lighter footprint.”

The sweeping change in the product line allows customers to trust that any cup of Green Star Coffee really is green. One-hundred percent of the company’s coffee is organic, and 80 percent is fair trade: deeply relevant to the health of the environment where the coffee is grown and the health of farmworkers who harvest the beans.

Growers, farmers, and their families are getting blasted with chemicals,” said company co-owner and roastmaster Daniel Randall, a 16-year veteran who is considered an artisan of his craft. “They also receive very little money, and we’ve made an effort to cut out a few of the middlemen so that more of the money goes to the farmers without raising the price of a cup of coffee.”

Much of Green Star’s coffee is shade-grown, as well, a farming technique that preserves surrounding rainforest, protects the growing beans from over-exposure to the sun, and provides habitat for pest-controlling birds.

Green Star is the only roasting company in Santa Barbara County that is a TransFair USA Licensed Partner-a good thing. The company’s coffee, which consists of 20 varietals, 15 blends, and four roasts, can be found at SpiritLand Bistro, Chamomile Cafe, Wine Cottage Bistro, Coffee Cat, and Roasted Bean, among others. Green Star Coffee will be present at the South Coast Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 20, at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens.

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