In 1999, the National Coffee Association found that only 9 percent of adults were drinking specialty coffee. Today that number has grown to 41 percent. In fact, in 2017, of all cups of coffee consumed in the United States, 59 percent were specialty coffee. It’s clear consumers are demanding better coffee, and Orlando-based Barnie’s Coffee & Tea has been committed to meeting that demand.
Over the past 40 years, Barnie’s transitioned from roasting for local and regional coffee shops to national distribution and global impact. Widely known for its popular lines of everyday coffee and unique seasonal flavors, the iconic Barnie’s brand recently expanded locally through licensing opportunities in EA Sports Tiburon Studio and the Orlando Science Center. To widen its reach even further, Barnie’s implemented a global initiative by offering Crop•Ex, a premium line of small-batch coffee that is roasted in Central Florida and supports the coffee industry globally.
With its manufacturing, distribution and roasting facility located in southwest Orlando, Barnie’s is committed to keeping its production local to its home while revolutionizing the industry around the world.
“While we have this incredible global initiative, we also know that our roots are here in Orlando,” said Sonya Hardy, chief operating officer. Being part of the Barnie’s family for more than 20 years, Hardy knows the importance of growing locally. “As a company, we are committed to staying close to our coffee-roasting process, which is why we have our headquarters and a roasting facility here.” From roasting and flavoring to quality control and distribution, the 16,000-square-foot facility produces up to 250 pounds of coffee per week to support a growing demand.
The Crop•Ex collection is carried in The Fresh Market stores nationwide. Roasted in small batches that produce eight to nine bags at a time, Crop•Ex features single-origin, traceable coffees from around the world, so customers can track each flavor of Crop•Ex to its literal roots from the mountains and valleys of Ethiopia, Indonesia, Costa Rica and family farms across the globe. With flavors ranging from light to dark roasts, the coffee is roasted to bring out the bean’s best natural qualities and flavors. Every bag of Crop•Ex is signed and dated by the roaster to display its freshness.
“We wanted Crop•Ex to be about the coffee, not about Barnie’s,” said Scott Uguccioni, chief sales and marketing officer of Barnie’s. “The quality, the community, the future of coffee as an industry, that’s what Crop•Ex is about.”
A portion of the proceeds from each bag of Crop•Ex goes to Coffee Kids International, a nonprofit organization that enriches the lives of young growers in coffee-farming regions of the world. Coffee Kids helps these young coffee farmers, who are inheriting the role from their retiring parents, through education and implementation of modernized processing techniques. This is vital to sustaining an efficient harvesting process. Since 1988, Coffee Kids has assisted 200,000 coffee-farming families in more than 400 communities.
Barnie’s quality assurance process starts from the moment the coffee lands on the dock, where the bags are analyzed to ensure they are all sealed and in good condition. Throughout the processing, the coffee is tested and sampled periodically to keep a consistent roast profile and to ensure the quality is maintained.
While Barnie’s has devoted its mission to making a difference in Orlando and in the coffee industry, it also aims to be as environmentally responsible as possible in processing. The Crop•Ex coffees are processed on a 5K roaster, which enables the company to maximize efficiency while minimizing its overall carbon footprint. Instead of fuel jet roasters other brands use, Barnie’s operates with two ceramic infrared burners that produce less greenhouse gases overall.
With its strong commitments to local growth, global impact, environmental responsibility and giving back to the coffee industry as a whole, Barnie’s has been making a name for itself in Central Florida and beyond.