When Deborah Di Bernardo drinks a cup of coffee, it’s usually not for pleasure. Work is work, after all. As the owner of Roast House Coffee in north Spokane, she’s not only judging on taste, consistency and freshness. She also is looking behind the bean: Where did it come from? Is it organic? Sustainable? Did women grow it – and, if not, how can she help make sure they do?
That quest – let’s call it an obsession – to find the perfect raw coffee bean, one that ticks all of the environmental boxes, that doesn’t skimp on flavor and that’s grown by farmers making a livable wage, is what led the longtime small-business owner to Rwanda last month.