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      WU Brew Coffee

      Widener University Partners with New Coffee Roaster

      New Roaster

      Widener University has partnered with Kaffe Magnum Opus to roast WU Brew coffee.

      Widener University has partnered with Kaffe Magnum Opus to roast the university’s earth-friendly WU Brew coffee.

      The new relationship with the Millville, New Jersey coffee roaster will help continue to expand the research and service-learning opportunities for students who visit the university’s property where the coffee is harvested by farmers in Las Lajas, Costa Rica.

      “Kaffe Magnum Opus was really interested in our message of sustainability,” said Professor Stephen Madigosky, chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability.

      The coffee – a perfect gift for the holidays – can be purchased from the Main Campus bookstore or online. The price for a 12 ounce bag of ground coffee or whole beans is $12.99.

      WU Brew launched in 2013 as a global partnership to raise awareness of sustainable agriculture while providing Widener students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to be part of the sustainability movement.

      In 2016, Widener acquired a five-acre property known as CARES21 (short for Consortium of Agro-ecological Research and Education for Sustainability for the 21st Century) about 20 miles north of San Jose. The permanent hub has allowed the university to develop new research and learning opportunities in Costa Rica’s central coffee region. The facility will host a sustainability symposium for educators and field practitioners from Jan. 9 – 13.

      Widener students and faculty travel to the Central American nation to learn how the coffee is grown without pesticides or herbicides and under shade trees to preserve bird habitats. The partnership has a positive effect on coffee production and helps students become more globally aware of their purchasing and consumer decisions.

      In addition, proceeds from WU Brew help to pay the farmers a generous living wage and encourages them to produce coffee in an environmentally-friendly manner.

      Heidi McDonough, the chief operating officer of Kaffe Magnum Opus, said hearing the message of sustainability and education from the Widener faculty inspired her and her colleagues to think about the entire process of coffee production.

      “As a company, we roast and sell coffee,” she said. “But, this made me think about all that can be done with coffee. Here is a university with educational programs on the farm, from the environmental side to the business and marketing side – all revolving around a coffee bean.”

      Kaffe Magnum Opus, which translates to ‘a great work of art in coffee,’ is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association and has been in business since 1991. It ships over 400,000 pounds of coffee per year from over 20 different growing regions around the world.

      The company is also certified organic and uses Loring smart roasters, one of the most environmentally-friendly roasters manufactured.

      McDonough praised WU Brew, saying “We thought it was a terrific program, and we want to see it grow.”


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