Boardman shop makes coffee connection in Peru - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boardman shop makes coffee connection in Peru

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A lot of coffee shops have unique blends from foreign countries, but Matt Campbell at Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Boardman takes it to another level. He physically went to Peru this summer in search of the perfect coffee beans.

Campbell loves coffee; he loves roasting it, loves tasting it. Last year, though, he tried a cup from Peru that stood out even to him.

"When we cupped those, they were incredible," said Campbell, the owner of Branch Street Coffee Roasters. "There was fruit, there was some juiciness to it. There was a lot of beautiful acidities. So I immediately became taken with Peru because it wasn't something typical I was seeing."

He began thinking about the people behind that coffee and the wheels started turning.

"It kind of became a romanticism between the cup that we were drinking, the flavors we were tasting, and the people that were behind it that were actually growing it," said Campbell.

So Campbell teamed up with an importer from Pittsburgh and flew to Peru in August to meet these farmers.

"It's a little city called Jaen. From there we would take day trips to three different regions that all kind of funneled their coffee through the city of Jaen," said Campbell. "We were literally on the road for about 20 minutes and then a three and a half hour drive on dirt roads... Some of these roads were a little bit washed out at points. You're driving very close to the edge of the road. There's no guardrails, there's no crossing guards, there's no one directing you. You're beeping a horn before you come around a blind turn."

The coffee turned out to be just as unique as the journey, but it's the people he met that really left an impression.

"The biggest take home for me was that a lot of these people have very little. They're of very meager means but they're probably the most content people that I've ever met in my life and they'll literally give you the shirt off their back," said Campbell.

He wanted to help. The beans came in last month. He's already roasted the first batch and they officially hit the shelves today at Branch Street Coffee Roasters. One dollar from every bag sold will go back to those farmers.

"What that's going to do is an upward spiral. It's going to improve the quality of the coffee that we're getting, which is going to allow us to serve better coffee. It's going to in return in the next year bring them more funds that they should be able to improve their standard of living even more," said Campbell.

The end result, ends up in your cup - unike any other cup of coffee you'll find in the Valley.

"Five days after we left Peru, one of the farms that we visited that we agreed to purchase coffee from won sixth place in the first ever Peruvian Cup of Excellence."

Which Branch Street then will turn into your cup of excellence. A cup of coffee with quite a story behind it.

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