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Since 1992, Port City Coffee Roasters has been a cornerstone of Seacoast coffee culture.  The welcoming aroma of roasting coffee that wafts down Islington Street from our little café tells the story of our endless commitment to providing the freshest, most delicious coffee in the region.

Step inside and you’ll discover that Port City’s commitment to quality goes well beyond the coffee itself.  Our customer service is as much a part of our brand as the delicious coffee beans that we hand select from around the world.  


Retail and wholesale customers alike appreciate that we provide a level of service that’s only possible from a small-scale local business.  We know that if you serve our coffee at your restaurant, café, or business, you’re committed to providing the very best to your customers and employees, which is why we work closely with our wholesale accounts to make sure they get exactly what they’re looking for.


About Port City Coffee Roasters

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Why we choose sustainable coffee

Port City Coffee Roasters is an ardent supporter of responsible business and environmental practices. While we value taste first and foremost, we strive to order only those coffees that are grown with sustainable methods, at a fair price that supports the grower.

Working with select importers that regularly visit the farms they’re buying from, we’re confident that at least 90% of our coffees are grown with ecologically responsible and sustainable practices. When possible, we also purchase coffees that have been certified as Fair Trade, or some other measure of socially and economically responsible business practice.

However, most of these certifications cost the grower money and many times aren’t reasonable options in some parts of the world. Additionally, in some popular coffee regions, farmers don’t always benefit from certification – regardless of their responsible practices – as there is consistently strong demand for their coffee anyway.

This is why we only work with importers that are personally familiar with the practices of the individual growers that they buy from. It’s the only way we can be sure that the coffee you’re getting is grown in a way that benefits everyone from the grower to the person at the counter of the Port City Coffee Roasters café.

What are Sustainable Coffees?

It depends who you ask!! At Port City we define this as any coffee being produced in a fashion that is helping the environment, saving endangered areas like rain forests, local communities, and raising the living standards of the community in which the coffee is being grown and distributed.


There are several well known groups / certifications that we group in this category:


Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

More than 25 million people in the tropics depend on coffee, a crop that is the economic backbone of many countries and the world’s second most traded commodity after oil. Coffee is farmed on about 12 million hectares (30 million acres) worldwide, an area larger than Portugal and nearly the size of England. Most of the farms are in areas regarded as high priorities for conservation. In 1993, the Rainforest Alliance and its partner groups in the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) demonstrated that traditional, forested coffee farms are havens for wildlife. Now, coffee lovers everywhere can support farmers who maintain these rainforest refuges simply by buying beans stamped with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval.


Fair Trade

Fair TradeFair Trade coffee makes sure that farmers receive a fair price for the coffees they grow.

Fair Trade helps farming families across Latin America, Africa and Asia to improve the quality of life in their communities. Learn more

As a non-profit, TransFair depends on the support of people like you to grow this work.

Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

Fair Trade is much more than a fair price! Fair Trade principles include:

  • Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.

  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.

  • Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.

  • Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.

  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.


Bird Friendly – Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Smithsonian Migratory Bird CenterBird Friendly Certified Coffees promote traditional multi-level coffee growing (also related to “shade grown”) plantations. Migratory birds use the overhanging trees for nesting, etc. By buying Bird Friendly Coffees you are helping certain birds from becoming extinct.

What is organic coffee?

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers abide by the law.


What does it mean to be certified organic?

In order for coffee to be certified and sold as organic in the United States, it must be produced in accordance with U.S. standards for organic production and certified by an agency accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. requirements for organic coffee production include farming without synthetic pesticides or other prohibited substances for three years and a sustainable crop rotation plan to prevent erosion, the depletion of soil nutrients, and control for pests.

Image by Niclas Illg
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