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Moral Taste Buds: How We Chose Our Coffee

April 21, 2017 | By Jeff Wiguna | News

Kuju is a coffee company. And naturally, when we first started, the biggest question we faced was, “What coffee should we sell?”

To some, this may seem like a simply question, but when you live in San Francisco — arguably one of the specialty coffee meccas of the world — picking your coffee is no easy task.

It was so difficult for us to make this decision that we simply delayed the decision and focused on other parts of building a company instead. I think Justin and I in some ways were hoping for the other person to make some headway. Overtime, neither of us did.

So what pushed us to make the final decision?

Well, at the end of the day I recall sitting in a church service and just thinking about all things Kuju. What are we really trying to achieve? What do we want to stand for? What do we want our coffee to taste like? How should it be roasted or brewed?

And it was in a split second moment that I remembered meeting a man named Paul who was sourcing coffee from a farm in Thailand. And what was unique about this farm was it employed former sex trafficked victims.

This struck a chord in me because my job before Kuju was selling fair-trade greeting cards, handcrafted by women who had escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines.

In that moment I decided for us that we would source from that farm with Paul’s help, not for any other reason than knowing deep in my gut that it was the right thing to do.

Amazingly, what has ended up providing Kuju with our unique and recognizable flavor is the coffee from this very farm.

I share this story because so many decisions we as a society make are often times based on the outcome we want to achieve. This makes perfect sense, but I do think sometimes it’s worth making decisions based on doing what we think is morally right, even at the risk of the most optimized outcome.

I believe that because of this decision, we brewed into Kuju Coffee a deeper, more caring soul from the very beginning and it’s something I hope we cultivate as we grow.

Here’s to Quality,
CEO & Eagle Scout, Kuju Coffee



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