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Grounds for Change: A Social Purpose Corporation with Extreme Commitment to Sustainability

Grounds for Change is a family-owned coffee company in Seattle that strives to offer Fair Trade, Organic-certified, and Carbon-free coffee to the local PNW community and the world. Yet, their sustainable plan doesn’t stop there. As an official Social Purpose Corporation, Grounds for Change seeks to make its environmental and social impact widely known.

Here are the highlights of what we’ve found about Grounds for Change after researching sustainable coffee in Seattle. Enjoy.

Grounds for Change Review 2024 Summary

Grounds for Change is a noteworthy Organic and Fair Trade coffee roaster near Seattle. It’s impressive for an organic coffee roaster specializing in single origins, blends, decaf, and gourmet coffee to stay focused on the sustainable goals they want to achieve despite the many changes in the environment and the tough competition in the coffee market.


  • Wide variety of coffee blends to choose from
  • Lots of decaffeinated coffee options
  • Affordable but high-quality


  • Only offers annual membership subscription
  • Not available to any online store aside from its ordering page

Overview of Grounds for Change

A coffee company with a big following would typically go for more profits, but Grounds for Change took another path towards sustainability. It’s a Seattle-based coffee roasting business that takes pride in all of their coffee blends that are Fair for Life Fair Trade certified, USDA Organic certified, and Carbon-free.

Aside from these green certifications, Grounds for Change actively supports community-based programs in coffee regions from the profits they make selling coffee. Likewise, the coffee company is keen on its sustainable goals by doing some of these environmentally-friendly initiatives

  • Off-set carbon dioxide emissions from operations, packaging, inbound and outbound shipping to customers
  • Using 100% renewable energy from roasting to delivery.
  • Organic waste composting
  • Creation and production of marketing materials using 100% recycled items
  • Donation of recycled empty burlaps to local organic farmers to be used for weed suppression and erosion control.
  • Donation of inbound freight pallets for upcycling
  • Supporting social and environmental organizations with their 1% of gross annual sales as part of the initiatives of 1% For the Planet members.
  • Working side-by-side with green organizations that promote positive change


Grounds for Change is a meticulous coffee company. Everything they do must, in some way, affect long-term welfare for the environment and society. Below are some of the certifications which serve as  Grounds for Change’s model for a sustainable business.


Grounds for Change partnered with B Lab to ensure that their goals are aligned with the highest environmental and social standards. With an overall B impact score of 100.2, this coffee business situated at the Kitsap Peninsula stays committed to its triple bottom line – environmental, social, and financial implications of operating a sustainable coffee business.

From this agenda, it expanded to premium quality, passion for the trade, and excellent service. As a result, the community gets to experience exceptional coffee while protecting the environment with a real livelihood for coffee farmers, zero-carbon print, and forest preservation for migratory songbirds.

1% for the Planet

This Certified Organic coffee roaster is a proud member of the 1% For the Planet movement and has supported environmental and non-profit organizations with their one percent of total annual sales since its inception in 2003. 

Grounds for Change founders immediately joined 1% for the Planet, believing that establishing the small fair trade organic coffee roasting in Seattle is also accountable to an “Earth Tax” and 1% For the Planet is the proper organization to trust to oversee the process.

Organic Coffee

When you buy any coffee blends from Grounds for Change,  you’re choosing from a stock  that has been Organic Certified by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. This organic certification is essential for Grounds for Change because coffee drinkers, coffee farmers, and the environment will benefit from it.

Even though the coffee beans have undergone the roasting process, non-organic coffee beans will still contain trace amounts of chemicals that can endanger a coffee drinker’s health. Likewise, these pesticides pose a threat to coffee farmers’ safety and the environment when chemicals are used to cultivate coffee plants.

Fair Trade

Grounds for Change partners with Fair for Life Fair Trade – a label certification backed by Ecocert. The Seattle coffee roaster aims to uplift the farming families’ quality of life by creating an equitable and sustainable model of international trade. Such a model benefits  producers, consumers, the industry, and the planet.

To learn more about the Fair Trade model, our Fair Trade review is an interesting read to help you get informed about sustainable coffee and trade.

Carbon-free Coffee

Partnering with Carbonfund.org is one of the sustainable goals that Grounds for Change wants to achieve. The partnership enables the coffee roaster in Seattle to offset 100% of the global warming emission connected to their coffee production. 

To obtain the Carbon-Free Certified product label, the coffee company completed the meticulous third-party certification process. You can thoroughly read their “crop to cup” analysis to understand better how Grounds for Change managed to make their coffee carbon-free for you and the environment.

Cafe Femenino

The Cafe Femenino Coffee Project is a project geared towards the empowerment of women. It caters to members of the household often given the passive role. With Cafe Femenino, women are allowed to be the managers of their lives by building self-confidence and building leadership skills through guidance and sharing experiences.

To keep the ball rolling for the Cafe Feminino, Grounds for Change donates an additional 10 cents for each pound of Cafe Feminino to the coffee growing project for women. Likewise, they provide sponsorship for the Early Education Center Pilot Program to the 17 communities which serve as Cafe Femenino’s coffee supplier.

Coffee Sourcing

Grounds for Change source and roast their coffee from 100% organic and Fair Trade certified coffee farmers and coffee-growing cooperatives since founding in 2003. This certified organic coffee roaster works hard to help cooperatives develop predictable sales volumes that will support smallholder producer groups.

The Seattle-based coffee roaster works with producers with Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) Certificate with good standing, with validity verified regularly, and has met or exceeded the coffee company’s strict quality standards.

Coffees Available Online:

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If you’re looking for high-quality, sustainable coffee, Grounds for Change offers the following blends that best describe its origin and producers.

Single Origins

A collection of single-origin coffee. The pride of top coffee regions in the world.

  • Guatemala Quetzal 
  • Nicaragua Miraflor 
  • Honduras Congolon
  • Guatemala Huehuetenango 
  • Ethiopia Yirgacheffe 
  • Sumatra Telong 
  • Peru Cafe Femenino 
  • Guatemala Forestal 


Combination of high-quality Fair Trade and Organic coffee beans for gourmet coffee lovers.

My Favorite:

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  • Seabrook Blend 
  • Equinox Blend 
  • Autumn Seasonal Blend 
  • Agate Pass Blend
  • Vienna Roast Blend
  • Classic Espresso Blend
  • Dolce Espresso Blend
  • Obsidian Espresso Blend
  • Nordic Blend
  • Solstice Blend
  • French Roast Blend
  • Half-Caff Blend


An exhibit of coffee blends that allows you to enjoy coffee without the jitters.

  • Decaf First Light Blend 
  • Decaf Espresso Blend 
  • Decaf Sumatra Telong 
  • Decaf Peru Cajamarca 
  • Decaf Midnight Blend 

What the Community Says

Alternatives to Grounds for Change Coffee

Here are other coffee brands you also want to consider:

Volcanica Coffee

This small, family-owned enterprise focuses on producing top-notch gourmet coffee that is both delicious and has enduring flavors. Their coffee beans are organically cultivated in shaded areas, guaranteeing a product free from chemicals. For those who prefer decaf, their use of the Swiss Water Method for decaffeination is a healthier choice. Volcanica coffee is highly recommended for its reasonable pricing and superior bean quality.

Brazil Estate Coffee – Volcanica

Volcanica Brazil Coffee is an estate coffee from the Minas Gerais region, characterized by its amazing taste with hints of sweetness, chocolate notes, and balanced acidity. This single-origin coffee is Kosher and Rainforest Alliance certified, ensuring quality and sustainability. With a pH of 5.1, it is considered a low acid coffee and undergoes a washed process before being medium roasted.

Tiny Footprint Coffee

Tiny Footprint Coffee emphasizes eco-friendly practices in all aspects of its business. They offer organic coffee beans grown in shaded areas, sourced from premier regions. For every bag of coffee sold, the company contributes to tree-planting initiatives. Additionally, they focus on fair trade by providing farmers with fair payments for their beans. Their environmental commitment is further evident in their roasting method, using an energy-efficient, classic 90-kilo German drum roaster to achieve perfect roasting, highlighting their commitment to both high-quality coffee and environmental stewardship.

Most Sustainable
Tiny Footprint Coffee Nicaragua Segovia Dark Roast

Tiny Footprint Coffee offers a dark roast with chocolate, apricot, fig, and spice notes, and is the world's first carbon-negative coffee. The company supports reforestation in Ecuador's Mindo Cloud Forest, offsetting more CO2 than it emits in its production process. In addition to its environmental efforts, the coffee is sustainably sourced, often organic or fair-trade certified, and is crafted in a carbon-negative roastery.

Nossa Familia Family Roasters

Founded in Portland, Oregon in 2004 by Augusto Carneiro, a Brazilian, Nossa Familia Coffee has a heritage tracing back to family-operated coffee farms in Brazil since the 1890s. As Oregon’s inaugural Certified B Corp coffee roaster, the company is devoted to responsible sourcing and environmental care, presenting superior, direct-from-farm coffee globally. Nossa Familia focuses on building robust relationships and upholding social responsibility, with a dedication to community and sustainable practices, mirroring its rich Brazilian legacy and enthusiasm for outstanding coffee.

Pacific Northwest Favorite
Nossa Familia Coffee Teodoro’s Italian Roast

Teodoro's Italian Roast is a medium-dark blend with a rich flavor profile, including cocoa, roasted nuts, caramel, woody spice, and almond hints.

It's designed for coffee enthusiasts, offering a full-bodied and flavorful experience, suitable for various brewing methods like drip or press pot. The coffee can be enjoyed black or with cream and sugar for a creamier taste.


Grounds for Change is a noteworthy Organic and Fair Trade coffee roaster near Seattle. It’s impressive for an organic coffee roaster specializing in single origins, blends, decaf, and gourmet coffee to stay so focused on the sustainable goals they want to achieve despite the many changes in the environment and the tough competition in the coffee market. 

With its outstanding track record as one of the B corporation-certified coffee companies, it’s right to support their sustainability goals and initiatives. You get to taste their delicious coffee blend AND save the planet. It’s a win-win.

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