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Assembly x Choose Love

by Michael Cleland

Choose Love: A Coffee Collaboration To Support Refugees

We've partnered with Choose Love to raise funds and aid the support of refugees.

Whether fleeing danger or rebuilding in a safe place Choose Love provide everything from life saving rescue boats to legal advice, hot meals and shelter for millions of refugees around the world. With support of over 130 organisations and 35,000 volunteers in 15 countries they'll stop at nothing to assist refugees at every stage of their journey. 

100% of the proceeds from the coffee, which goes on sale this Saturday May 22nd at 10am, will be donated to aiding in the relief efforts of refugees. 

This has been made possible by Assembly Roaster, Claire Wallace, who after winning second place in the Belco Coffee Break UK competition was awarded a small lot of honey processed Ethiopian Forest Coffee which she has donated for the partnership. Scroll below to read on from Claire about the coffee itself and why she selected Choose Love as our preferred partner. 

Shop: Ethiopia — Mustafa Mohamed Ali (Choose Love Fundraiser)

The last 18 months have, for most of us, been turbulent to say the least. Negotiating the pressurised environment of the pandemic has left many of us anxious and uncertain. We have spent days or weeks inside our own homes, waiting it out and using social media to stay connected to the world.

The global coffee community has maintained its connection by pivoting to the online realm running virtual farm visits, conferences and competitions. One such competition was Coffee Break UK, an Instagram competition run by Belco Green Importers to raise the profile of their Ethiopian Forest Coffees. These coffees are grown amongst ancient Ethiopian forests, utilising the framework and tools that Mother Nature has provided to grow exceptional coffees in an environmentally sustainable way. I was lucky enough to achieve 2nd place in the contest and, as a result, a 60KG bag of Forest Coffee had arrived at the roastery. It is a beautiful Honey Process coffee grown by Mustefa Mohamed Ali on his family plot.

I was free to do whatever I chose with this coffee, and that choice has been heavily influenced by this last turbulent year. For myself, although it has been stressful, scary and very unwelcome, I was also very aware of my privilege. I live in a very safe country free of war, I have a roof over my head and access to clean water, food and medical care.  Many have had to face the Pandemic without some, or all, of this basic rights.

This is why we have chosen to partner with Choose Love for the release of this coffee. Choose Love work across 15 countries with the aim to identify, close and prevent gaps in services and protections for refugees and displaced people. They support over 135 projects across Europe, the Middle East and the US-Mexico border, providing life saving search and rescue boats, food, legal advice, shelter and numerous other essential services to more than one million refugees at every stage of their journey.  Refugees fleeing unsafe situations and living in makeshift shelters are now also contending with the global pandemic, making their situation even more difficult.

All proceeds from the sale of each bag will be donated to Choose Love to support their work. As the green coffee is a competition win, this removes the material cost from the equation, which means we can make an even more significant donation.

The coffee itself was illustrated with Choose Love’s Alice and she picked out flavour notes of lemon peel, apricot and black tea. I’m so excited to share this coffee with you all, and be part of the Choose Love movement through our love of coffee.