There’s no shortage of coffee subscription services in the world, but very few have captured my imagination like Crema.co. This young company launched in late 2015 but has already established itself as a leader in the online coffee marketplace world through great coffee, compelling storytelling, and an innovative platform.
Emily McIntyre is one of the co-founders of Crema.co. She has her own consulting business, Catalyst Coffee Consulting, is writing a novel, and loves delicious coffee. Captivated by her work and passion for coffee, I sent over a few questions about her time with Crema.co. Her responses made me thrilled to be part of the specialty coffee industry, and I have a feeling you’ll be inspired by them as well.
What about Crema.co draws you in as more than a casual employee?
When Tyler Tate invited me to join him as a co-founder of Crema.co, I jumped at the chance because I believe that the platform has the chance to help shift the way coffee is traded globally, toward increased transparency, better wages for everyone, and more information on all fronts.
I love the storytelling side of this industry, naturally, and am obsessed with the relationships we create together by pursuing this magical liquid in all its passion and ritual and hard work. Crema.co is a beautifully-designed platform for this kind of relationships.
What makes you most excited about the things coming up at Crema.co?
Two things: first off, as of May 1, we are giving between $.10 and $1 per bag we sell to Food4Farmers, a nonprofit that works in Nicaragua to mitigate seasonal hunger for coffee farmers. We are excited to join in and help with the urban farming, microfinance, and education that’s happening on the ground in the Jinotega area.
Secondly, we are about to launch office coffee! We are stoked to sell the same delicious coffees in 5-pound increments for teams around the country, and we will be doing it through a Slackbot integration that allows users to upvote coffees, leave feedback, and even communicate with each other about coffee right in their normal workflow.
What inspired the Netflix-like “Brew List”?
My co-founder, Tyler Tate, has a background in creating the search experience and had put a lot of thought into how to present single origin specialty coffees. This approach allows the user to choose a custom coffee experience (drag and drop!) while also indicating how frequently he or she wants to receive coffees. It works really well.
Does Crema.co partner with farmers and roaster in a unique way?
Yes; we are the only coffee subscription that connects so many great artisan roasters and with customers all over the world in a choose-your-own-adventure, roasted to order, format. We don’t partner directly with the coffee farmers at this time, but we work with roasters that have an emphasis on careful, responsible sourcing and on treating farmers well.
Do you have a favorite farmer story?
Some of my favorite coffee stories happen when my life as a coffee pro and writer/photographer collides with Crema.co. Like with the Ethiopia Shantawene from Dapper & Wise: that’s a coffee I sourced with my other company, Catalyst Coffee Consulting, and those photos are ones I took at the Shantawene mill. I love it when a farmer I know and respect is featured on my site. Connection, you know. That’s what we all want.
What’s changed at Crema.co since the Kickstarter campaign and launch?
Lots of things! More coffees, more roasters, better systems, and a great team of folks who make this all run smoothly. The Kickstarter campaign was important: we had the privilege of inviting all Kickstarter backers in to our beta period to give us feedback as we developed the site and everything that goes with it. Building on their feedback, we built the site you see now, but we’re always tweaking and refining it. We’ve learned a lot about making the process easy for roasters, about sharing the stories and making better coffee possible through our Brew Guides, and about building the ultimate coffee destination. We have a long way to go and all sorts of ideas for the future!
What’s the outlandish dream embedded in the Crema.co mission?
I hinted at that above. We want to be instrumental in shifting the way coffee is traded globally: away from a commodity and toward community. We want to see farmers, roasters, and everybody else who participates in the coffee value chain receiving fair value for their work as well as real recognition for their contributions, and to see innovation and quality soar. I think it’s possible.
Speaking of Crema.co, I’m drinking an iced pour over of a coffee from One Village Coffee, one of their partner roasters. Over ice, this washed process Papua New Guinea has a gentle apple sweetness that turns into a pleasant orange acidity. The coffee has a smooth aftertaste with a note of toffee. Yum!
I personally backed Crema.co’s Kickstarter campaign in early 2015 because I thought the business would do great things for the global specialty coffee community. And I was right. Two years later, the business is thriving, farmers are becoming recognized, and great coffee is spreading.
If you’re in the market for top-shelf, sustainably sourced coffee beans, give Crema.co a shot. You won’t regret it.