Greater Goods Coffee Co. is a small-batch coffee roaster based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2015 by Khanh Trang and Trey Cobb, GG aims to source, roast, and serve quality specialty coffee with a focus on creativity and community. With each bag sold, they donate a portion of the proceeds to a local charity partner. Greater Goods must be doing something right. They were named Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine in 2021 and are consistently ranked among the country’s top roasters in CoffeeReview, Food & Wine Magazine, Gear Patrol, and more.
We met up with their team to discuss their secret to success.
[MB] What’s the most important thing that MistoBox customers should know about you?
[GG] We have two passions – roasting some of the world’s best coffees and trying to do good in the communities we serve. We hand-select specialty-grade coffees from around the world, roast them to perfection at our Dripping Springs roastery, and serve them with love at our East Austin and Bee Cave cafés. A portion of the proceeds from every bag of coffee we sell goes to Texas-based charities.
[MB] Giving back is a big part of what you do. Could you tell us about the mantra “Let’s Make Good”?
[GG] We’re on a mission to “make good” by:
-Sourcing, roasting, and serving great coffee
-Sharing coffee knowledge within the community and the industry
-Giving back to our community by supporting local causes
While we give all three pillars of our mission equal weight, we’re most proud of #3. From our inception, we’ve donated to local charities through retail coffee sales. We currently partner with three Austin charities: Central Texas Food Bank, Austin Pets Alive!, and the Autism Society of Texas. As of November 2021, we’ve donated: Food Bank = $68k, Austin Pets Alive! = $35k, Autism Society = $33k
[MB] What issue in coffee do you care about most?
[GG] We want coffee to be around for a long time, so it’s critical to support environmental, economic, and social sustainability at origin. We choose to partner with producers who provide living wages, offer employee benefits, and utilize agricultural practices that protect the environment. We develop impact-driven relationships whenever we can so we can make firsthand assessments, exchange ideas, and offer support. We pay more than Fair-Trade prices to ensure that our partners at origin are able to invest in their farms and their communities.
[MB] How do you go about sourcing coffee? What do you look for?
[GG] From Colombia to Kenya, we travel far and wide to find the world’s best coffee. Flavor is key, and our quality team professionally evaluates the sensory characteristics of each potential coffee. We partner with producers who believe in fair wages, community benefits, and sustainable environmental practices. Once the coffee gets to us, we craft individual roast recipes to bring out the best in each batch. We think our sourcing and roasting set us apart, and it seems others agree: Food & Wine named us the best coffee in Texas in 2019, and Roast Magazine named us Micro Roaster of the Year for 2021.
[MB] What machine(s) do you roast with?
[GG] We use Loring roasters to maximize consistency while minimizing environmental impact and energy consumption. By our calculations, our Loring roasters helped us save over 30,000 pounds of CO last year alone. We also donate all of our chaff, spent coffee grounds, and coffee sacks to local gardeners and farmers.
[MB] How’d you decide to become educators in addition to coffee roasters? Could you tell us about your SCA training campus and the training you offer?
[GG] Providing community and industry access to education is a cornerstone of our business model and the reason why we opened our own training campus in conjunction with our East Austin café. In addition to Specialty Coffee Association certification courses, we host public classes and drop-in sessions on topics like seed-to-cup, espresso, home brewing, latte art, and more. It’s a great way to bring our mission to our community and help build their understanding around the value of specialty coffee.
[MB] What has kept you motivated?
[GG] We’re motivated by our successes, both big and small. Whether it’s organizing a local event with our partners, being recognized in a national publication, or tasting a new barista’s first manual pour over, all of these things keep us going. We’re also motivated by the endless opportunities coffee presents to us and all of the incredible coffees we have still yet to try. Tasting coffees from new origins is super exciting, and we hope to continue to highlight producers from traditionally overlooked coffee-producing countries and help share their coffees with the world.
[MB] If GG were an emoji what would you be and why?
[GG] Ooo, this is a hard one! Let’s go with 🤓, because we’re all total coffee nerds at heart!
[MB] What makes you the most excited about the future of specialty coffee?
We’re energized by how diverse this industry has become over the last decade or so. It’s amazing to see so many women-owned and BIPOC-owned companies at the forefront of not only delicious coffee, but sustainability and meaningful change in cafes and at origin. We’re excited to be part of it and to keep challenging the idea of what a “specialty coffee professional” looks like.
[MB] Tell us about your team! Who’s keeping the dream alive?
[GG] Not to brag, but we totally have the best team in Texas! Our baristas are creative, unique, and share a passion for coffee and a compassion for others. We all love dogs, we all love food. We’re involved in the local coffee community here in Austin and we’re always looking to try new cocktail spots around town. More than ¾ of our team is female, including our owner, head roaster, general manager, lead trainer, and green buyer. When they’re not pulling espresso, you might find our baristas practicing photography, going to see live music, and thrift shopping.