Crimson Cup Celebrates 2019 Successes in Community Giving, National Coffee Awards, Product Development, Retail Expansion and Farming Relationships

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Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea Celebrates 2019 Successes: $130,000 in Community Giving, National Coffee Awards, New Ready-to-Drink Products, a New Retail Flagship and Over 100,000 Miles in Travel to Cultivate Sustainable Farming.

Crimson Cup's Brandon Bir cups coffee in Uganda
We believe small companies like Crimson Cup can do big things when we partner with our cuppers, customers and suppliers. We intensify our impact by living our motto of Coffee + Community in everything we do.

Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea continued to expand, innovate and cultivate communities at home and abroad in 2019. Continuing growth fueled $130,000 in community giving in Columbus and coffee-growing communities around the globe.

“We believe small companies like Crimson Cup can do big things when we partner with our cuppers, customers and suppliers,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert. “We intensify our impact by living our motto of Coffee+Community in everything we do.”

In central Ohio, Crimson Cup supported Cancer Support Community Central Ohio, See Kids Dream and other non-profits. Over 60 farming relationships spread its impact in coffee communities abroad.

A year focused on growth fueled the company’s ability to give back. Among other honors, Crimson Cup’s award-winning coffees brought home their second national coffee championship in five years.

The roaster launched new ready-to-drink products, broke ground on a new retail flagship location and expanded meaningful relationships with coffee farmers and independent coffee house owners.

“Our successes in 2019 set the stage for a stellar 2020,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert. “From winning awards and launching new products to designing our new Crimson retail flagship – which will open at Easton Town Center this spring – we have a lot to celebrate!

“Our team of cuppers also traveled over 100,000 miles to enlarge our impact in the coffee-farming world,” he added. “Deep, ongoing relationships with coffee farmers help us support a sustainable future for coffee and our company.”

Crimson Cup became the number-one Small Franchise/Chain Roaster at Golden Bean North America – the world’s largest coffee competition. Its Ethiopian Kossa Kebena coffee became a finalist for a 2020 Good Food Award (and later won). Crimson Cup earned its first national championship in 2016 as Roast magazine’s Macro Roaster of the Year.

Focused on innovation, the company introduced new ready-to-drink canned cold brew and chilled latte products. In April, Crimson Cup Canned Cold Brew hit Ohio coffee houses and specialty grocers. Made with direct trade Guatemalan Antigua coffee, the smooth, sustainably sourced drink became a best-seller.

September saw the launch of Crimson Cup Mocha, Latte and New Orleans ready-to-drink chilled beverages. The drinks combine sustainably sourced specialty coffee, local milk from Arps Dairy, Inc. and other simple ingredients.

The company roasted over 600,000 pounds of coffee in 2019. To meet increased demand, it added a new custom Probat R-23 drum roaster named The Kracken to its 20,000-square-foot roasting facility.

In August, the roaster broke ground on a new flagship retail concept, Crimson. Opening Spring 2020 as part of the Easton Town Center expansion, the new coffee house will feature distinctive coffees and teas, innovative drink recipes and compelling stories from coffee growers.

The roaster credits its ongoing success to strong relationships with coffee house owners and coffee farmers.

“In the 90s, we began helping entrepreneurs become successful coffee shop owners,” Ubert said. “I wrote a book called Seven Steps to Success in the Specialty Coffee Industry that became the foundation of our coffee franchise alternative program.”

Crimson Cup provides everything business owners need to open a coffee shop. More than a class, the program includes hands-on consulting on everything from writing a coffee shop business plan to barista training.

In 2019, its coffee education team provided hands-on training for over 200 coffee house owners, baristas and coffee connoisseurs.

The company supported growth of independent coffee shops in 13 states, including a third location for Corporal Ray’s Coffee in Midland, Texas.

“Awesome coffee is the most important dynamic in running a successful coffee shop – and awesome coffee starts with farmer relationships,” Ubert said.

Company coffee experts, called “cuppers,” traveled over 100,000 miles to foster meaningful relationships with coffee farmers last year.

On one trip, they led owners and staff from six independent coffee houses on a seed-to-cup exploration of coffee in the Siguatepeque region of Honduras.

“Our goal was to strengthen the relationship between coffee growers, Crimson Cup and our customers,” said Crimson Cup Coffee Buyer Dave Eldridge, who led the trip. “It was an incredible experience for everyone involved.”

Since 2012, the roaster has made economic, environmental and social impacts in farming communities through its Friend2Farmer initiative.

“I’m thrilled that our direct trade purchases increased by over 50 percent last year,” said Director of Sustainability Brandon Bir. “The growth came via new relationships in Colombia and Uganda.”

Through Friend2Farmer, the roaster pays an above-market price for coffee. This helps farmers pursue more profitable and sustainable harvests. As a result, they can invest in their communities.

Crimson Cup has fostered over 60 relationships to create long-term impact. The company has helped to build new homes, paid for teachers and school supplies, funded construction of a community center and distributed water filtration devices, among other projects.

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is a 2020 Good Food Award winner, 2019 Golden Bean Champion for Small Franchise/Chain Roaster and Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Since 1991, Crimson Cup has roasted sustainably sourced craft coffee in small batches. It sells coffee to consumers and distributes wholesale coffee beans.

Through its 7 Steps to Success coffee franchise alternative program, the company teaches entrepreneurs to run successful coffee houses. By developing a coffee shop business plan, entrepreneurs gain insight into how much it costs to open a coffee shop.

Crimson Cup coffee is available through over 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 38 states, Guam and Bangladesh. The company also operates several Crimson Cup Coffee Houses. To learn more, visit, or follow the company on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Cheryl Claypoole
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