This treasure comes from Mariposa Coffee, a local, small-batch, artisan company in Norman that has cared about social justice from its beginning.
Mariposa is a local company working to give back both in the community and in developing communities around the world. Its support of local art and events is a ll the more obvious with coffee giveaways and its mobile truck rounds.
Daniel and Amyie Kao started Mariposa Coffee as a labor of love. While dating in college, he began roasting coffee beans with a popcorn popper and later converted a barbecue grill into a coffee roaster. She was deeply involved in social justice and would bring his coffee for people to enjoy. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, as was his penchant for perfection in his chosen craft.
“A lot of coffee flavors are attributed to the region of coffee,” Daniel Kao said. “Soil, the way it’s grown, altitude, weather — they all affect the flavors of it.”
Obtaining the Ethiopian Sidamo bean, used in getting the blueberry flavored coffee, is the first step.
“You have to know what temperature to roast it at and when to take it off,” he said. “You have to know the smells. You have to see it. You have to hear it. Because if you roast too long, you completely burn out the sugars and flavors.”
Shop Good owner Audrey Falk has seen the couple’s business grow from the beginning, discovering it through mutual friends who were brewing it at their church.
“We were initially impressed by the quality of the coffee; the church had previously been brewing preground Folgers out of giant tubs,” Falk said. “What really got us hooked was meeting Daniel and Amyie one day when they came to drop off a restock of espresso beans. They were just so kind and personable. And so passionate about coffee. Daniel really knew his stuff about taste and brew methods and how to pull a perfect shot.”
Suzy Thompson, co-owner of Forward Foods in Norman, worked early-on with Mariposa, too.
“As impressed as I was with them, it wasn’t going to go on the shelves unless it was a product we could stand behind from a flavor perspective,” Thompson said. “Our premium products have to be worth the extra dollar or two, or our customers won’t trust us with their purchases. The great news for all of us was that we loved the coffee.”
So do others; Thompson said sales are increasing weekly.
“We are ordering more and more, and the bags rarely sit on our shelves longer than a week,” she said. “There is so much return business on their coffees. It’s really the most ideal situation for us, and it’s hopefully ideal for Mariposa and the coffeedrinking enthusiast.”
Falk agreed. “We only stock products that we love, products that we use every day and that we’ve tested for quality and durability and lasting style,” she said. “We want to be able to confidently recommend our goods to our customers and to be able to make personalized suggestions based on our own experience. So carrying Mariposa was a no-brainer.”
Mariposa’s commitment to helping others continues.
“We’re kicking off our Rwanda campaign in the near future,” Amyie Kao said. “The purpose of the trip is to make a documentary short that will capture our idea for a movement within the coffee industry to take action on the world water crisis, especially since the areas of water poverty and water scarcity overlap with coffee-growing regions.”
Visit the roastery at 1120 Garver St. in Norman.