421 Brew House LLC was founded in 2019 by owner and director of operations Robert Rubenok. 421 Brew House is a Canadian-based company that provides artisan coffee in unique bags, while being aware of our environmental impact. Robert had previously worked in the coffee industry for 2 years taking note of how dirty the coffee business is. The issues start at the farms and run all the way through to the end consumer. We wanted to take a look at our impact every step of the way, from the farms we choose to work with, to the bags we package the coffee in. We also wanted to ensure the consumer is receiving a high end product, while being as transparent as we can with what the costs are and why the coffee is priced at a competitive point with other artisan coffees. Farmers are often underpaid for the work they provide and the beans they produce, and will frequently slash-and-burn valuable rain forest land to maximize crop yield and profits. At 421 Brew House we have chosen to only deal with fair trade farms, which ensures the farmers are being paid fair prices for the work they are doing, but we are also making sure the farms are using sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices.
Our regular bag design is something totally unique to the coffee world. The bag itself is a stand up reusable zip lock pouch. This allows us to maximize space for artwork on the front of the bag, while offering a longer lasting end product over traditional tin tie bags. Unfortunately biodegradable bags didn't offer the long lasting freshness we wanted for the end consumer. Our traditional bag features a frog skeleton on the front and the back of the bag explains why we chose a frog.
Why the Frog
Frogs are an indicator species, or bio-indicators, Frogs and other amphibians are good bio-indicators because they live in both water and on land. If the ecosystem they live in is doing well, they thrive. If the ecosystem starts to suffer they often die as a result or migrate to a new habitat. For us the frog serves as a reminder that we have to be aware of our environmental impact or the frogs will move on.
Sourcing coffee and designing a bag was only half the battle, we still needed to team up with a roaster to deliver the roast profiles we wanted. Knowing that 78% of coffee is brewed with the pour-over or drip-brew method, we worked very closely with master roaster Chris Meginbir, a close friend and fellow outdoor enthusiast, to develop a series of roasts that would work both as a drip- or pour-over as well as with an espresso. We are also able to offer the final product in both whole bean and ground, to satisfy more of the consumer market. We will not be offering any k-cup or other single-use coffee solutions, due to the high volume of single use plastics associated with these brew methods.