Home FOOD REVOLUTION GMB PODCAST EPISODE 014: Coffee Circle

GMB PODCAST EPISODE 014: Coffee Circle

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Coffee Circle founder Martin Elwert | GreenMe Berlin podcast

COFFEE CIRCLE: LEARNINGS FROM 7 YEARS OF CONSCIOUS COFFEE

Download & listen to the episode on iTunes | on Stitcher | on Youtube

"If it doesn't taste good, you can do good wherever you want, but people will not buy again." -- Martin Elwert, co-founder & CEO Coffee Circle  

For this juicy episode, Claudi ventured out to meet Martin Elwert, co-founder of Coffee Circle (@coffee_circle), who are a certified B-Corp. If you’re not sure what a B-Corp is, there’s a cool video explaining the whole concept down in the shownotes.


SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT COFFEE CIRCLE

Coffee Circle is all about high quality, single origin, organic coffee sourced directly from the highlands in Ethiopia - and meanwhile also from lesser known coffee nations like Laos or Myanmar. They follow strict principles and pay the farmers prices far above the world marke. And they invest 1 Euro per kg of coffee into social projects in the growing regions, with 100% of all donations going into the projects.

So far, Coffee Circle had a positive impact on more than 39.000 people in the growing regions, raising 500.000 euros for their projects. They’re really transparent about this, you can read about each single project on their website. And they deeply believe in entrepreneurship as the driving force for development, which is also a key focus of our interview.

The green coffee is then shipped to Germany and roasted fresh here in their new roastery in Wedding, which is where we are right now. I tell ya, it smells damn good. The wild Wedding is definitely one of Berlin’s most contrasting and therefore also most exciting neighborhoods. I love to come up here. It’s much rougher than other neighborhoods - but it’s home to a nicely down down-to-earth artist & alternative scene. Perfect for roamers and explorers seeking for an authentic, pre-gentrified vibe, a bit more off the beaten path than Kreuzberg & co.

Not only is coffee sth that many people in the world drink… It’s also one of the commodities that created the biggest imbalance between the wealthy nations and the developing world, AND at the same time coffee is without a doubt one of the most famous and widely spread Fair Trade products in the world. So it’s a great idea to build a social business around that and magnify its possibilities to alleviate poverty. Which is exactly what Coffee Circle is doing.


WHAT IS SOCIAL BUSINESS? 

It’s a business that is dedicating its entire purpose to solve a social problem. It’s not about profit, money is just the means to drive the business and its mission forward. It’s also often defined as new way of conscious capitalism. What excites me about it, is that it really has the power to address the most pressing problems of humanity, without being dependent on donations or fundraising. Now there’s lots of different models and definitions out there. I highly recommend reading “Building Social Business” by Muhammad Yunus, who is kind of a luminary in this field. He’s founded the Grameen Bank, a bank run exclusively for and by the poor.… even though you may not agree with 100% everything - if you wanna learn more about the idea of Social Business, then check it out in the shownotes.

As for Coffee Circle, the impact these guys had within the last 7 years has been remarkable. One of the key take aways from our chat was, that if you are running a sustainably-oriented business that serves a social purpose, you have to be not only as good as conventional businesses - you have to be better.


IN THIS EPISODE, YOU'LL ALSO LEARN ABOUT:

  • Some major traits that all social entrepreneurs should have
  • The power of travel in boosting your confidence to change the world
  • How to have the greatest impact per euro invested
  • The crucial difference between social business and NGO's
  • The notion of dignity in social business
  • The challenge of building trust and credibility - and how to solve it
  • Why Coffee Circle decided deliberately against Fair Trade
  • Where to find the biggest potential for future social entrepreneurs
  • What exactly is the idea behind 3rd wave coffee (and what’s 1st and 2nd wave)
  • Which role Berlin played in kicking Coffee Circle off the ground
  • How the startup scene in Berlin is shifting
  • Why it’s so important to get expectations right
  • The biggest crisis Coffee Circle had to face last year 
  • The importance of being humble & appreciative of the people around you

And so much more! Okay guys, you see there’s a hell of a lot to take away here, so let's not hold back any longer. Without any further delay: time to get into the show NOW!

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE RIGHT HERE:

OR download & listen to the episode on iTunes | on Stitcher | on Youtube

As always, you’d do us a huge favor if you hop over to iTunes, subscribe to the podcast and leave us a short review (just click on the cover image in iTunes and then on "Reviews"). It helps us keep going and makes the show available to more people. THANK YOU! 

COFFEE CIRCLE - INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT:

THIS IS COFFEE CIRCLE 

Coffee Circle, Team | GreenMe Berlin podcast


Coffee Circle, Roastery | GreenMe Berlin podcast

Roastery in Wedding

Coffee Circle, Roastery 2 | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Coffee Cupping | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Coffee Cupping 3 | GreenMe Berlin podcast

Coffee Cupping

Coffee Circle, Coffee Cupping 4 | GreenMe Berlin podcast

Checking for best taste and quality - new coffee arrivals from Laos and Myanmar


Coffee Circle, Social Projects 3 | GreenMe Berlin podcast


Coffee Circle, Social Projects 5 | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Social Projects | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Social Projects, Martin at Plantation | GreenMe Berlin podcast

Building relationships in the fields

FINAL WORDS:

Boy oh boy oh boy… There is quite a lot to digest here, it’s been great to chat to Martin. Hope you also could draw a lot out of this interview. There is still so much more to find out about the what’s, how’s and why’s of Coffee Circle. So DO Watch out for lots of awesome videos and brilliant content on their website and social media platforms. That’s what they’re really strong at.

I’d be super curious to know what you think about the whole idea behind social business, and the way Martin and Coffee Circle live it and put it into practice. Or do you even have an idea in mind for your own social business? I really really wanna know it, so please get in touch, leave a comment right underneath this post here, or write me on Facebook, on Twitter, or an email. Social business - what’s your take on it?


COFFEE CIRCLE - SHOWNOTES & LINKS MENTIONED


BEFORE YOU GO

...be part of a thriving movement: it’d be a pleasure to see you on our next Circular Economy Tour & Dinner in Prenzl’Berg on the 9th November, so check out the details & grab your ticket now >>.

...more tour news: we’ve just completely updated our Green Berlin Tour website with lots of great routes and experiences to choose from. So if you are looking out for a unique experience with the Berlin green scene, check it out and get in touch with us!

...if you took value out of this episode, please share it with your friends and leave us a short review on iTunes. Your feedback is important to make the show better and spread the messages to more people. Thanks so much for supporting us, it really means a lot!

...lastly, if you wanna stay up to date with the latest interviews, green events, tours and our explorations in the Berlin green scene, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We got a little thank you if you do so: we’ll send you our best-of guide to 7 of awesome eco-minded places in the city for free. 

That’s it! Thanks so much for listening! Good times are coming & we all have the power to make it happen. So go out & spread some good green vibes 🙂

// COFFEE CIRCLE //

Lindower Str. 18, 13347 Berlin - Wedding

Nearest Metro: S Wedding

View it on the map >>

GET IN TOUCH​:

Email: kontakt@coffeecircle.com | Tel: +49 30 3982 1383

www.coffeecircle.com

Coffee Circle, Coffee Cupping 2 | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Roastery 4 | GreenMe Berlin podcast
Coffee Circle, Social Projects 4 | GreenMe Berlin podcast

Photo credit: Coffee Circle

DO YOU SHARE OUR PASSION FOR SOCIAL BUSINESS? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

Would be great to hear from you! Just share in the comments, right at the very bottom of this page.


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