Carondelet Leadership Academy

This month’s co-roasters is a fourth grade class from Carondelet Leadership Academy, a public charter school in St. Louis. This was our first time working with kids of this age, and we weren’t really sure what to expect. Boy, were we blown away! We arrived at Ms. Rineer’s 10am class, and greeted the students as they arrived.

We started off passing out packets of beans to the kids, each which were roasted to different stages, from green, un-roasted coffee beans down to a dark French roast, and asked them to arrange them in order. Then we got into some fun facts about coffee, and lastly, started air-roasting a batch with the kids! Each table took a turn coming up to our portable popcorn poppers that we use to air roast (yes, you can use popcorn poppers to roast coffee beans!), and helped us identify at which stage our roast was at throughout the process.

Not only did the kids learn a lot about coffee and how to roast, we certainly learned a bit about them. For instance, we learned that a larger percentage of fourth-graders drink coffee than we would have expected (or approved of!), and that one of the students likes to mix coffee with Pepsi! Some of the kids were so excited, they kept trying to eat the beans!

All in all, it was an amazing time, and we’re so excited to help fund this class’ needs. Of course, as always, for the next month, 10% of all proceeds generated by Goodbrew will be donated directly to Ms. Rineer’s class, helping to fund exercise gear for the class’ PE activities. Learn more about their goals here.

 
 
 
Steve Neske
Northwest Academy of Law
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We first came across Northwest Academy of Law on DonorsChoose.org. Dr. Miranda Avant-Elliott’s post caught our attention and her class seemed like the perfect fit for our first co-roasting endeavor. We packed up the air roasters (AKA popcorn poppers), gathered up the learning materials, and headed out to Walnut Park East.

We arrived around 10:15am, about 20 minutes before class started, got checked in, and met up with Dr. Avant-Elliott, who greeted us with a warm and welcoming smile. She led us to the classroom, where we proceeded to set up the air roasters. The class was small, only five students, so being able to interact directly with each student as they roasted their coffee beans was easy. We started off by covering some facts about coffee (such as, did you know the only U.S. state that grows coffee is Hawaii?) and then delved into the different stages of coffee roasts, from American and City roasts to full on French Roasts. After that, it was time to take out the beans and get started!

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Little did we know, our little portable air roasters draw a considerable amount of power, and after blowing a few fuses in the classroom, we eventually got going in a different room across the hall. Roasting coffee takes energy, baby!

During the roast, we continued to field questions from the class regarding coffee and the production of it, and by the time we were done, the students were asking when we were planning on coming back.

All in all, we had an amazing time with the students, and they were super-excited to be co-roasters for the day. From now until January 3rd, 10% of all proceeds generated by Goodgrew will be donated directly to Dr. Avant-Elliott’s class, in order to help her get closer to her goal of $1,091.75, which will be used to purchase two iPads and 10 pairs of headphones for her class.

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Steve Neske