George Howell Coffee was founded in 2004 by veteran coffee pioneer George Howell. George’s life in coffee began in 1974 with his first café, The Coffee Connection in Cambridge’s Harvard Square.
The Coffee Connection grew to 24 stores before it was sold to Starbucks in 1994. George started George Howell Coffee with the primary focus and passion to continually identify, source and roast the highest quality coffees available. Our signature Terroir Coffee acknowledges and highlights the influence of the region and climate or “terroir” (pronounced “tare-WAH”) and the farmer’s craftsmanship in every bean.
We understand that behind every cup of coffee there is a farm with growers who share the same drive and dedication for their craft as we do. In an effort to nurture these relationships, George, and now his daughter Jenny, travel yearly to many of the farms we buy from as well as other coffee producing areas to develop and maintain real and lasting relationships. We are proud to work directly with these farms that share our interest in social responsibility and environmental sustainability. In an ongoing effort to genuinely recognize and demonstrate our respect for the care and costs incurred to produce outstanding quality, George Howell Coffee pays these farms top prices for green coffees, far exceeding Fair Trade pricing.
Roasting, Storing and Packaging for Freshness.
Top-quality coffees are only harvested once a year, thus storage of raw green coffee is essential to maintaining the freshest-tasting coffee all year long. To maximize freshness, green coffee is stored GrainPro bags to reduce or frozen to halt the raw beans’ natural aging process at their peak of maturity, preserving their natural sweetness.
All our coffee is craft-roasted daily in small batches to guarantee freshness and enable us to maintain strict quality control throughout the entire roasting process. Once our quality control group has approved a batch, it is packaged immediately in airtight, one-way valve bags to preserve freshness. Our aim is to provide our customers with an excellent cup of coffee from seed to cup.
George Howell Coffee Direct Trade Policy
George Howell Coffee’s mission is to provide our customers with the very finest coffees on earth.
We seek quality producers through the many networks George Howell has connected with over his thirty-five years in specialty coffee. We extend our knowledge through participation in organizations such as Cup of Excellence, co-founded by George Howell, which provides a critical vehicle for aspiring farmers to find funding, technical aid and, above all, international recognition in countries where who you know can be the sole determinant of your fate.
We source our coffees as directly as possible to provide maximum incentive to the fine craftspeople who produce what we celebrate. Many of our coffees are directly sourced. We pay a fair price – defined by the producer, as well as the buyer – one based on a sliding quality scale created to incentivize the highest possible standards. We pay well above Fair Trade prices for all our coffees. We visit the farmers we work with; this assures mutual education and trust.
We strive to deliver the farmer’s product with the most precision possible from export to cup. We were the first roasters to package green coffee in vacuum bags. We are leading the way in long term storage of raw coffee, allowing great vintages to outlast their seasonality – in all their glory. We financed and introduced the coffee world’s first coffee refractometer and software system, Extract MoJo, to the accolades of world champion baristas and the finest quality roasters around the world.
We strive to make all our public interfaces highly educational and fun. We believe that the more educated consumers become the more they will seek out those who can provide real quality, expertise and dependability.