The Journey to Tinycup

The Journey to Tinycup

Founded in 2023, Tinycup Coffee is a home-based coffee roasting company that specializes in the small-batch, pan-roasted coffee tradition and generational family recipes that honor coffees journey from the Horn of Africa to the Caribbean. Our mission is to help everyday people experience coffee as a personally restorative ritual.

In 2015, in the back of a kitchen of a small Ethiopian cafe in Falls Church, Virginia, Tinycup founder Michael J.A. Davis learned the tradition of pan-roasted coffee. It's a time-honored method, going back ~2000 years, that awakens a profound sensory experience. From the multi-layered aromas during the roasting process and the attention and care it requires, to robust flavors and complex notes in every savored sip.

In the years that followed, Michael would learn the stories, traditions and techniques of family members who grew, hand-processed, and pan-roasted coffee, growing up in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. Just as coffee is a communal (sometimes ceremonial) tradition among Ethiopian communities all over the world, so too is it a daily ritual in the Caribbean.

In the commoditization of coffee the stories of indigenous coffee communities and, subsequently, the idea of coffee as a communal tradition and ritual is suppressed. Coffee growers are relegated to the margins of coffee narratives as mere links in the supply chain.

Mainstream American coffee culture emphasizes speed, quantity, function and routine, ideal of for a hyper-capitalistic society the promotes twisted notions of productivity and undervalues the importance of rest. Higher echelons of the culture boast ideas of chemical perfection in the roasting process, exotic brewing methods and serving techniques. The coffee industry is saturated with a lot of the same one-dimensional focus on achieving a specific, narrow definition of perfection.

The idea finally crystallized of a coffee company that cuts through the noise and sees beyond the status quo. A roastery that would manufacture coffee that reflects the cultures and communities that produce it. A brand that could facilitate a care-driven experience for everyday coffee lovers that reminds them why they fell in love with coffee and facilitates little moments self-care, self-love and affirmations of self-worth.

Founded in October 2023, Tinycup Coffee is introducing a fresh perspective and experience. Our pan-roasting process and flavorful, aromatic output are unique because they are rooted in family recipes passed down from generation to generation. We've adopted and developed principles of design and justice work to guide our approach to coffee roasting and our growth as a business. Small and mighty by design, we hope become influential in the effort to center equity in coffee industry.

Tinycup's aim to enrich the coffee-drinking experience is rooted in a desire to contribute to the preservation and elevation of the traditions and stories of indigenous coffee communities around the globe.

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