Tipping the Scale: Coffee for Water

In September I was introduced to Three Avacados Coffee through my friend James at Ugandan Water Project. Knowing my love for Uganda and raving lunatic coffee fanaticism, he thought I’d love Three Avocados. He was right. Order three bags right away, and I love the coffee. But, even more, I love what Three Avocados is doing for clean water in the UG.

Joe Koenig, the man behind Three Avacados, travelled to Uganda last January and was so struck by the people he met and the need for clean water that he decided to do something to help. Rather than just give money, Joe had a truly innovative idea that would help bring clean water and support sustainability in Uganda. He started a coffee company.

The idea is pretty simple. Three Avocados buys coffee grown at 6,200 feet on the slopes of Mt. Elgon in eastern Uganda. They sell it online at threeavocados.org and in some regional grocery markets. Since they pay a fair price, they’re are helping to encourage and sustain local Ugandan agriculture. Plus the Uganda Bugisu is seriously good coffee.

“Ok, that sounds great, but what about the clean water thing? Where does that come in?” you ask.

I’m getting to that part. The twist here is that Three Avocados is a non-profit coffee company. “Wait, what? A coffee company that’s designed NOT to make money? What’s the point in that?” Well, it’s not that they don’t make money. It’s just that they send 100% of the profits back to Uganda to provide clean water. It’s genius! They aren’t just sending money from Uncle America! The money comes back to Uganda as the result of a product of Uganda.

Business is growing. They just got an order for 300 bags of coffee. Wow! And the vision is to expand beyond Uganda. People in other coffee growing countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Hondurus and Peru need clean water too. To help them expand the project and their reach, Three Avocados has partnered with TippingBucket.org to fund new equipment and an advertising budget.

The idea behind Tipping Bucket is to allow individuals to help fund worthy endeavors by giving as little as a dollar to the cause. I love the whole crowd sourcing concept. You can head over to Tipping Bucket to read more about the Three Avocados project and support what they are doing.

And since you’re probably wondering what Three Avocados has to do with coffee or Uganda, head over to threeavocados.org to read the story. And while you’re there, buy some coffee. You won’t be sorry you did, and helping never tasted so good.

You can follow Three Avocados on Twitter at twitter.com/nonprofitcoffee.

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