Download Image: Web
Lycoming College will launch its first 100 percent Dominican coffee from the El Naranjito region, Warrior Gold, at an open house event on Friday, Sept. 15, 5-7 p.m., at Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Co., 400 Pine St. in Williamsport. The College is also announcing partnerships that localize this truly global effort: Alabaster will now roast Warrior Coffee — just a few blocks from the Lycoming campus — as well as package the coffee to sell at the Lycoming College bookstore, at the local Wegmans supermarket, and for Rusty Rail Brewing Company to use in its Wolf King Warrior Coffee Stout. In addition to local partners, runner-up on Season 11 of Food Network Star and entrepreneur Jay Ducote will sell the beans, roasted by Baton Rouge-based Cafeciteaux Coffee Roasters, under his “JayD’s” label.
All are invited to the open house to sample Warrior Gold, as well as Warrior Blue, which launched in 2016. Lycoming College faculty and students who travel to the Dominican Republic will be on hand to discuss the farming methods employed to help the villagers of El Naranjito gain a voice on the global coffee market, as well as how they help usher the coffee through a complicated trading export/import process, water quality and solar initiatives.
“I have been watching the Warrior Coffee Project with great interest since it was established four years ago, and am eager to take on such an important role in bringing Warrior Coffee to coffee cups across Williamsport, and across the country,” said Karl Fisher, owner of Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Co. “Alabaster’s values align very closely with Warrior Coffee in that we strongly believe in building communities and making a difference through the elevation of coffee culture, and our close relationship with the Warrior Coffee Project allows us to further promote those ideals.”
Always with an eye on social and environmental responsibility, recent changes to the program prompted the College to become the official buyer of the coffee beans, rather than relying on a third party. This adjustment resulted in a 131 percent increase in purchases over 2016, which will help to fund the Warrior Coffee Program, as well as to ensure an increase in capital being injected into the El Naranjito region, contributing to long-term, sustainable economic development in that community.
“The arrival of Warrior Gold embodies so much more than just a new line of coffee — it is an historic milestone in our efforts in the El Naranjito region. The farming methods we are sharing with the coffee growers are working and producing higher quality coffee beans, which will lead to higher prices for the beans on international markets and contribute to the growers’ ability to improve their own quality of life,” said Caroline Payne, associate professor of political science at Lycoming, and founder of the Warrior Coffee Project. “I continue to be amazed at how students from every corner of the campus find ways to contribute and advance this project to the next level, and I’m exceedingly proud to be a part of it.”
Since 2013, Lycoming College ventures in the Dominican Republic have continued to provide political science students with real-world opportunities in which they can apply what they’ve learned about responsible, sustainable development to help a community in need. The program recently evolved to integrate the education department to advise instructors in the Peralta region on teaching methods, and with chemistry faculty and students to help improve villagers’ access to clean water. Future growth will see the Center for Energy and the Future launch a solar initiative to bring power to the village of El Naranjito, where Warrior Coffee beans originate.