WHEN WILLIAM MURAD, a 10th-generation Brazilian coffee farmer, first moved to the Bay Area and saw that coffee from his home region sold in stores for $20 a pound while his family received around $1 a pound for the same coffee back home, he wanted to rectify this price imbalance. So he started San Rafael–based Unleashed Coffee. “Our goal is to change the way people buy coffee by connecting the farmer and the consumer without third parties or fancy ‘fairness’ marketing terms,” Murad says. “It’s just we the farmers and you the consumers enjoying coffee together.”
Unleashed is one of the first coffee businesses in which the farmer controls the quality of the coffee, from hand-selecting seeds to starting a new plantation all the way to shipping and delivering roasted coffee to consumers. This model, according to Murad, better distributes the value of coffee throughout the coffee chain and creates a more sustainable livelihood for other farmers, allowing them to improve quality and be adequately rewarded for their hard work.
Having lived on their farm for generations, the Murad family strives to keep the land healthy by not depleting its natural resources. Unlike other coffee farms, Unleashed Coffee has zero water waste: it uses natural rainfall to process the beans and water the crop, and the coffee is dried on concrete patios in the sun. The company’s top-selling roasted coffee is Catucaí Red; the top-selling green coffee is Farm Blend.
Unleashed Coffee hires locals from a village near the coffee fields, buys fertilizers exclusively from local Brazil businesses and gets its bags and liners for the green coffee from a socially responsible company located in the rainforest. Find Unleashed Coffee on Amazon and at Bay Area grocery stores such as United Markets, Scotty’s Market and Berkeley Bowl.
WHAT THEY SAY
“The direct relationship with the consumer is crucial for us to know what kind of coffee to plant and what kind of flavor profiles to create at the farm level,” Murad says. “For us, this responsiveness to our consumers’ preferences is revolutionary.”
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline “Unleashed Coffee.”