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Heirloom Coffee opens regenerative coffee research lab

Heirloom Coffee opens regenerative coffee research lab

July 19 - 2023

Coffee Geography Magazine


Heirloom Coffee Roasters, the first national brand to roast 100% regeneratively farmed coffees, is now expanding their mission with the launch of the world's first Regenerative Coffee Research Lab. The Heirloom Regenerative Coffee Research Lab will catapult research and development of regenerative coffee in the most sustainable way – with 100% electric roasters. Heirloom Coffee Roasters has made it their mission to roast the most sustainable coffee on the market. 

In 2022, Heirloom was one of the first brands to introduce Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC) specialty coffee to the public, certified to meet the highest standards in the world for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness. Most recently – thanks in part to a grant from the California Energy Commission – Heirloom's Oakland roastery is installing 16 fully electric Bellwether Coffee roasters, a significant innovation in a natural gas-dependent industry. Now, the company will utilize this cutting-edge technology to solidify regenerative coffee as the industry norm.

With the launch of their Regenerative Coffee Research Lab, Heirloom Coffee Roasters will become a resource and catalyst of change for the entire coffee industry. This lab will serve as a platform for learning – bringing together industry experts, farmers, and sustainability experts to share research, experiment with new regenerative coffees, and contribute to the future of the regenerative coffee industry. "The Heirloom Research Lab will be a much-needed space for collaboration and recipe development for the regenerative coffee industry," said Kelly Zeissner, VP of Success for Heirloom Coffee Roasters. 

"We have made it our mission to source and produce the most environmentally sustainable, regeneratively farmed coffee on the market," said Hovik Azadkhanian, CEO at Heirloom Coffee. "We now aim to not only serve by example, but also through collaboration. As a high-volume roaster, Bellwether's electric roasters will allow us to exponentially reduce our carbon footprint – without compromising on quality or taste."

The Bellwether system is simple to install and operate – so anyone can source and roast the highest quality, most sustainable coffee at the touch of a button. As an added benefit, no gas lines, vents, construction, or training are required to set it up and start roasting. This enables Heirloom to open up the Lab as a co-roasting hub for local underserved communities. Members of these communities will be able to roast regenerative coffee at little cost and create their own brands, while further incentivizing the expansion of regenerative coffee. 

"This groundbreaking venture aims to be completely net-zero, contributing zero emissions to our atmosphere," said Azadkhanian. "Our team is committed to research, innovate, and implement strategies that respect and restore our environment, whilst ensuring that the quality of our coffee remains impeccable." 

In their Oakland, CA roastery, Heirloom Coffee Roasters sources and roasts 100% regeneratively farmed coffees, including the first commercially available Regenerative Organic Certified™ coffee. Committed to reducing their carbon footprint, their custom-built roasters use up to 60% less natural gas and up to 80% less water per pound of coffee than traditional roasters.