COFFEE IS AN EXPRESSION OF TIME:
THE INTERACTION OF SOIL, SEED AND SUN
WITH HUMAN INTERVENTION AND
THE CHAOS OF THE UNIVERSE

aviary

Aviary is a hyper-focused specialty coffee roaster founded on the belief that coffee should be environmentally-responsible, economically sustainable, progressive and delicious.

how we work

We exclusively source from philosophically-aligned coffee producers, contract year-over-year and pay prices well above the long-term cost of production.

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Most of our releases are small—just 15-30kg—and pre-sold before roasting. Sign up below to receive a notification before a new coffee drops.

WHOLESALE

We offer wholesale pricing and shipping to cafes, specialty coffee shops and restaurants around the world. We roast in small batches using a state-of-the-art, fully-electric Stronghold S9X coffee roaster allowing for unparalleled consistency and shelf life.

Wholesale

Q&A

We frequently receive questions about Aviary and our coffee offerings. Find answers to the more common questions below.

The richness of biodiversity on healthy coffee farms comes not by accident; the symbiosis between microbes, fungus and creatures in the soil and life above it is the result of evolutionary forces and climate met with human intervention. A healthy coffee farm functions similarly to an aviary: shade trees above form layers of canopy for migratory and native birds who use the farm for shelter, food and home.

In my first visit to Finca Esperanza in Guatemala, I walked onto the terrace of the farmhouse and looked up at one of the indigenous shade trees planted there, at 1300 meters, holding the light away from wispy Catuaí planted below it. Moving quickly, a green bird with a red chest flew from the frame out of view—a bird I would learn moments later was Pharomachrus mocinno, a resplendent quetzal, the national animal of Guatemala and a creature of mythological importance. To the ancient Maya and Aztec, the quetzal was a god; associated with Quetzalcoatl, the bird was venerated as a symbol of freedom and wealth, with the feathers of the bird being used as currency and killing of the bird strictly prohibited. It was believed—until 2004—that quetzals could only live in the wild; under conditions of captivity, the bird would die.

Cloud forests—the native habitat of coffee and quetzals—are, like the birds themselves, threatened. Quetzals—like coffee—came from the wild, and unless they’re returned to the wild conditions in which they evolved, may too perish. The path to preserving coffee for the future can come from this lesson; we must return it to the conditions in which it grew in the wild—under the canopy of trees, like those at Finca Esperanza.

Aviary wears the quetzel in our mark as a reminder.

Our logo was designed in 2019 by Lindsey Krivenki of Variegate Design.

We roast one day per week (typically Friday) and ship immediately following packaging. Upon shipping, you will receive an email notification with tracking information for your order based on the shipping method you select at checkout.

When we launch, we will be shipping to the U.S. as well as a list of international countries. Shipping within the U.S. will be free on every order.

We intend to expand our shipping worldwide once we begin roasting and get an understanding of the logistics, with a goal of keeping international shipping as affordable as possible.

Every order shipped is carbon neutral.

For wholesale orders—including local deliveries—we will ship via common carrier (UPS or Fedex). We believe this fulfillment method is the one with the least climate impact available to us: If every company operated its own delivery vehicle to deliver orders, it would increase road congestion, maintenance requirements, fossil fuel consumption and emissions—but a consolidated shipper can route those orders more efficiently and reduce overall emissions.

Aviary's coffees are:

  • roasted light or very light,
  • one-offs, and 
  • available in limited drops by pre-order only. 

Most of our releases are small—just 15-30kg. Sign up using the form on this page to receive a notification before a new coffee drops.

Specific details about each coffee are noted on their respective pages.

We might present coffees that are the result of processing experiments we conducted; we might present standout coffees from longtime partners that we’ve separated for their quality; we might present coffees from origins or provenances that we believe are overlooked or that, in the cup, will defy expectations; or we might just present some of our favorite coffees of the moment.

We will always feature (year-round and always available to order) coffee from Finca Esperanza—a more developed omni-roast single-origin espresso created with a milk-drink destination in mind.

We roast in small batches using a state-of-the-art, fully-electric Stronghold S9X coffee roaster allowing for unparalleled consistency and shelf life.

While we don't share the specific colorimetric readings (Agtron or Tonino or Lighttells) of our coffees because of the problems of standardization of these systems across different grinders, we do track them for internal purposes.

Aviary is the roasting project of coffee industry consultant and green coffee buyer Christopher Feran.

In his words:

"As I consulted for roasters around the world (including some of the fastest-growing roasted brands in the U.S.), I worked on their behalf, using my skills and knowledge to help operators execute their vision. Their business models—even when innovative—fell under the umbrella of "traditional" coffee businesses.

"I always brought along my philosophy of coffee, which I've expressed through tens of thousands of words on my blog—how I think about it, interact with it, buy it, and roast it—but have never actualized how I think we can run a different kind of coffee roastery.

"Aviary is a roaster that exists solely to present coffees from that point of view—a hyper-focused, small-volume, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer roastery founded on principles of environmental and economic sustainability."

Understanding a business's carbon footprint and the cradle-to-grave impact of its activities requires complex analysis. It's something we've thought a lot about—and are committed to continuing to experiment, iterate and improve our carbon footprint and environmental sustainability.

Our coffees are carefully sourced to ensure that the farms we buy from are engaging in responsible environmental stewardship—both in terms of production methods as well as post-harvest processing. What that means specifically for a farm will vary based on its scale and its own activities—and you should read the write-ups for individual coffees to understand more. Broadly, we purchase from coffee farmers that utilize shade and agroforestry methods of production, pursue water conservation (and cleaning of waste water) and protect native forests or lands traditionally used by indigenous peoples.

Once milled and exported, coffee must be transported to the U.S. for roasting. On a per-pound basis, the most carbon-effective means of transporting goods from long distances (such as from coffee producing regions to the U.S.) is via ocean freight; when possible, we do ship via the water, using our skill and knowledge of green coffee to ensure that quality will not be compromised over the length of this journey.

Upon arrival, we roast coffee using an electric coffee roaster. In the state of Ohio, where Aviary is located, the utility market is deregulated, allowing consumers to select their electric generation supplier through a marketplace. We have selected a supplier that produces electricity solely through green methods (solar and wind) so that our roasting does not consume fossil fuels at any stage.

In terms of packaging: Coffee production involves waste. This is a simple, uncomfortable fact which we must reconcile with—and yet maintain a willingness to engage with our supply chains and patterns of consumption to move toward iterative solutions that will reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint. Single-use packaging used industry-wide is clearly an issue. In the U.S., FDA makes clear using no uncertain terms: To sell coffee, it must be packaged and sealed in some sort of barrier to protect it from oxygen, moisture, oil or contamination—typically with a metal or non-renewable oil-derived liner.

Because industrial composting services are limited in our primary market (the United States) and home composting is inaccessible to most, we opted to make our bags from 100% recyclable Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), which can be recycled anywhere plastic bottles labeled with No. 4 are recycled. The outer box and inner card—a necessary additional layer of barrier because of the porosity of LDPE—are also fully recyclable.

Once packaged, coffee is shipped and transported primarily using vehicles that burn fossil fuels and create emissions. To mitigate this, our web store is powered by Shopify Planet—every order shipped through is carbon neutral.

For wholesale orders—including local deliveries—we will ship via common carrier (UPS or Fedex). We believe this fulfillment method is the one with the least climate impact available to us: If every company operated its own delivery vehicle to deliver orders, it would increase road congestion, maintenance requirements, fossil fuel consumption and emissions—but a consolidated shipper can route those orders more efficiently and reduce overall emissions.

Aviary's coffees come as an extension of the buying work done by Hinterland Coffee Strategies, Christopher Feran's consultancy and are curated to give a home and showcase for top lots, separations, experiments and coffees with stories worth sharing.

We offer wholesale pricing and shipping to cafes, coffee shops and restaurants around the world.

Finca Esperanza, our year-round offering which is roasted for both espresso and filter styles of preparation, is available in 1kg and 5lb bag sizes for wholesale customers.

For short-run releases and drops, small quantities of retail bags (200g) and 1kg bags may be offered, pending pre-order demand and lot size/availability.

The only way to get more information or to get on the wholesale offering list is through email. Email us: coffee@getaviary.coffee.

Our 200g and 1kg bags are made from 100% recyclable Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), which can be recycled anywhere plastic bottles labeled with No. 4 are recycled.

The outer box and inner card of our 200g bags—a necessary additional layer of barrier because of the porosity of LDPE—are also fully recyclable.

Our 200g bags ship without a valve due to the slight porosity of the LDPE material, the light roast level of our coffees, and our preference for coffees sold in smaller formats without a one-way valve in extensive shelf-life testing of our coffees.

Our 1kg bags, due to the amount of carbon dioxide off-gassing that occurs with a greater mass of coffee, do include a one-way valve, which is also recylable.

Because of the radiant heat application enabled by the Stronghold roaster we use as well as the very light roast levels, we find that our coffee tastes best beginning at 2 weeks off roast—but for some coffees, it may be as long as 60 days.

Coffees intended for espresso in particular may benefit from extended rest.

Once open, coffees should remain relatively stable for several weeks. Tasting and noticing the changes in a coffee over its life is part of the joy and sensory journey of a coffee experience; we encourage you to do so (and to share your findings with us).

If you'd like to store your coffee for long-term storage, we recommend individually dosing and freezing—ideally in vacuum seal or airtight jars with as little headspace as possible. In these conditions, coffee will taste fresh for many months or even years.

We prefer to use relatively soft water for filter, cupping and no-bypass extractions of our coffee so as to improve cup clarity and articulation.

In terms of general hardness (GH) and total alkalinity (KH), our standard water recipe is 58 GH / 27 KH with a ratio of approximately 1.3:1 between Magnesium and Calcium.

To prepare the concentrate we use, add to a mason jar:
- 8.67g of epsom salt
- 2.33g of CaCl2
- 3.97g of NaHCO3
and cover with 350ml of distilled water at 99ºc. Use 2g of concentrate per 500g of distilled water.

For long-term use (more than 1 month), consider refrigerating your concentrate.

If you're brewing with Third Wave Water classic, we recommend diluting the water to 1/3 strength prior to brewing.

For espresso, we prefer closer to 20 GH and 50-70 KH (depending on your desire for acidity. If it's too bright, add more buffer).

We recommend experimenting with water chemistry by brewing with distilled water then using concentrates (either homemade or a product like Lotus water drops) added post-brew to find your optimal water chemistry.

We approach our filter brews the same regardless of coffee; our coffees are sourced and roasted to extract easily and taste delicious across a broad range of extractions and different styles of preparation. However, these are our typical targets for filter-style extractions:

  • 500 micron from lock using a Weber EG-1 with Ultra burrs or 625 micron using an EK43 with well-aligned factory burrs.
  • 1:17 ratio
  • 22-23.5% extraction yield (EY)
  • 1.5-1.6% TDS

For espresso, we prefer low-pressure, high-flow turbo-style regimes targeting extraction times of 12-18s with ratios anywhere from 1:2.5-1:3 depending on the coffee and targeting 22-23% EY. For more developed roasts such as Finca Esperanza, we use a tighter ratio: 18g in and 38g out in approximately 18 seconds.

For questions, concerns, or press inquiries, shoot us a message on Instagram (@aviary.coffee) or email us: coffee@getaviary.coffee.