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Celebrating connections in specialty coffee

Celebrating connections in specialty coffee

Learning coffee origins through farmer-roaster relationships

This is an exciting time for specialty coffee roasters because of our deepening relationships with the farmers who produce our coffee. Our connection with farmers is a crucial partnership built on trust and trying new things to achieve great results, and what we do would not be possible if not for the growers.

The Triunfo Verde Co-op in Jaltenango, Mexico grows coffee that thrives in the lush climate of the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.

The Triunfo Verde Co-op in Jaltenango, Mexico grows coffee that thrives in the lush climate of the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve.

With these stronger relationships come transparency and traceability, which allow us to to learn the story behind each coffee before we roast it. Our Mexico Jaltenango Chiapas is a microlot coffee produced by the Triunfo Verde Coop, whose farmland is situated near the largest cloud forest in mesoamerica, an ideal growing climate for coffee. In Chalatenango, El Salvador, farmer Jose Armando Portillo grows coffee that we love for its balance of bright citrus and sweet, creamy flavors. We know that he comes from a long line of coffee farmers with traditions so powerful that they have “coffee in their blood.” These are the farmers we want to support, who take care of their natural environments and fold coffee farming deep into their family histories.

This knowledge informs the decisions we make while roasting, from differences in farming and processing techniques to climate and experiences with roasting past lots from farmers. Though roasting is an incredibly important part of the process, appropriate brewing techniques ensure that we realize the true potential of every coffee. Baristas at our newest coffee bar, Uptown Tunnel Coffee, prepare all drip coffee as individually brewed pour overs to bring out the best possible flavors in each cup. With this slower, manual brew, we can more easily pick out the flavors that make each coffee special, and start dialogues with customers about the stories behind our coffee.

With coffee consumers increasingly interested in where their coffee comes from, attention shifts to coffee farmers and their individual stories, as well as the growing techniques that make their crops unique. Specialty coffee today feels like a celebration of coffee and its providers, connecting us all in a way not previously possible. We are proud of its evolution so far and excited to be part of where it is headed.

CATA Coffee limited roast to raise money for organization

CATA Coffee limited roast to raise money for organization

Tunnel City’s “CATA Coffee” blend to raise money for organization

Art exhibit sparks new limited release coffee

 WILLIAMSTOWN — June 12, 2017 — Community Access to the Arts (CATA) has a mission to allow people with disabilities  to express themselves freely and creatively through mixed medium. To support that initiative, Tunnel City Coffee created a “CATA Coffee” blend — $5 from each pound sold will be donated to CATA.

 With the integration of a temporary art exhibit, Tunnel City used three paintings to label CATA Coffee bags. The medium roast blend will be available online and in store until the exhibit at 100 Spring Street is dismantled — June 29.

 Inside the coffee shop, nearly 30 lambent paintings created with assistive technology and artist drawings are on view, created with media such as acrylic, tempera, watercolor, oil and chalk pastel, charcoal, and mixed media. All pieces are for sale, professionally matted and framed, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists.

 The CATA “Art on Tour” exhibit will be on view during regular Tunnel City Coffee hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

 For more information, visit

About Community Access to the Arts:

CATA workshops take place all across the Berkshires and in Columbia County, and are led by talented faculty who are also artists themselves; Jeff Gagnon, Pat Hogan, Marlene Marshall, Janice Shields, Kara Smith, Stefanie Weber, and Michael Wolski.

Funds to support the exhibit are made possible by Irene and James Hunter Charitable Fund at Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, October Mountain Financial Advisors and other advocates.

CATA also brought art to The Good Purpose Gallery in Lee, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, New Marlborough Meeting House in New Marlborough, and the MountainOne Gallery as part of Downstreet Art in North Adams.   


About Tunnel City Coffee:

Tunnel City Coffee (TCC) has been pulling espresso shots in Williamstown since 1992. Along with making top quality espresso drinks, TCC is known for roasting its own coffee in North Adams and being a purveyor of pastries made daily in its scratch bakery.

Over the past 25 years, the company has grown in sales, location and employee base. With the addition of a cafe on the MASS MoCA campus, TCC will begin serving beverages out of the new Spring Street Bookstore in the fall.

For more information and to learn more about retail and wholesale opportunities, visit or call (413) 458-5010.