For people working in coffee a sense of community and family is what draws us to the industry. Along the way our lives are touched and changed by everyone we meet and work with, whether they be a farmer in a coffee producing country, a co-worker in the office, or a colleague at another coffee company. One of these people is Adam Koehler.
Many of us got to know Adam when he worked here in Portland at another coffee roastery, and everyone who has met him speaks of him as one of the kindest, brightest, and most enthusiastic people in the industry. After Portland, Adam moved to San Francisco to work as a green coffee buyer for a roaster down there, and continued to develop the community around him.
A little over a year ago Adam was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a drunk driver in a nasty hit and run accident. Adam survived, but spent months in intensive care, and a year later still has a long recovery process ahead of him. In the intervening year the coffee community has rallied around him to help support him while he rebuilds his life and recovers from serious head trauma.
One of the most crucial ways we’ve helped support Adam is financially. Extensive hospital visits rack up enormous medical bills. Several fundraisers have been held to help raise money to help cover his medical expenses, including “Half Pounds for Half Batch” at Sightglass Coffee and a Gofundme.com page accepting donations. We here at Water Avenue Coffee are also taking part in a fundraiser organized by Aleco Chigounis of Red Fox Coffee Merchants.
Red fox offered up 20 bags (155lbs each) from one of Adam’s favorite coffee farmers, Familia Campo, in Colombia for sale to coffee roasters, with the proceeds going to his medical fund. We bought one bag, and are continuing the process by donating $1 from each 12oz bag sold online and in our café to the fund.
This coffee is special, just like Adam. Leonina, Abraham, and Noe Campo grow coffee near La Milagrosa de Inza in Cauca Department. Familia Campo are members of the local ASORCAFE cooperative growing Bourbon and Caturra coffee plants, washing and fermenting them on farm before spreading the coffee on parabolic drying tables for up to 20 days. Adam and Aleco have been purchasing coffee from this family for a decade, celebrating its beautiful rounded fruit juice notes, complex baking spice aroma, and chocolate flavors. We consider ourselves fortunate to not only be able to bring our customers this delicious brew, but to be able to help Adam in our own small way.
Everyday is a gift, and it's important for all of us in the coffee community to cherish and support those around us, and the times we share. We are inspired by Adam's strength during his recovery and also appreciate the depth of support shown by so many people. All of us at Water Avenue wish Adam the best, and thank Red Fox Coffee Merchants for providing many with a way to support Adam. One dollar from each bag sold in our café and our online store will be donated to his medical fund.