Community in a Cup

Serving their first batch of crop-to-cup coffee in 2008 Marks coffee of Auroville has become a local landmark and winner of the 2022 aromatic brew & beanery award. Founded by Marc Tormo who arrived in Auroville in 1997, they now produce 12 tons of roasted coffee a year. Their holistic approach empowers the people it touches at all levels from farmers to drinkers without compromising the environment. Specially chosen beans from across India ensure a delicious brew every time, and sourcing directly from farmers helps to bolster producers’ income while maintaining ecological integrity and nurturing the communities that produce their coffee. In establishing a link directly from the producers to the consumers, and doing all roasting in-house Marc’s Coffee is able to ensure fair wages for the growers and hand-pick only the finest beans. All coffee purchased by Marcs Coffee is bought at premium prices. In line with the ethics of Auroville, all the coffee purchased is produced in a sustainable fashion. This is due to India’s coffee plants being entirely shade-grown instead of clearing forests for production, trees are actually encouraged for the shade they produce, allowing coffee groves to easily coincide with the native permaculture. One of the best examples of Marc’s selections is the Halli Barry estate, an estate run entirely by women. The business is a family affair, consisting of Marc, the owner, his wife, in charge of logistics, and their son, Eden, in charge of quality control for other places that use their product. Beyond the beans, the cafe also gives back to the village of Auroville. The cafe is a place of community and a regular hang-out for locals and travelers alike. The interior is built and furbished entirely with repurposed wood, and all of their accouterments are sourced from local artisans, nurturing the community that supports them. Another example of their dedication to community building is their sourcing of products for their delicious homemade baked goods, such as their eggs. They pay half of their year’s order in advance to allow farmers to produce the quantity they need without taking out loans which are usually at astronomical interest rates. The cafe is also staffed predominantly by members of surrounding villages. This brings income back to local communities that otherwise have few other options and shares the knowledge of food service and hospitality cultivated by Mark through his years in the F&B industry in Spain. In a new chapter of their project coffee is working towards educational opportunities and training of high-level baristas, something not widely available in India. In Marks’ philosophy, coffee brings people together, and is a source of community, it uplifts people in both its cultivation and consumption. In his own words “who would have thought all this could fit in a humble cup of coffee”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.