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Roast House wins Good Food award

File photo: Deborah Di Bernardo holds a handful of coffee beans recently roasted by Dave Rier, left, at Roast House Coffee in Spokane.

A boutique coffee roaster in Spokane has been nationally recognized for supporting sustainability and social good – as well as being “exceptionally delicious.”

Roast House won a 2014 Good Food Award.

Owner Deborah Di Bernardo received the award in San Francisco Thursday night.

“We’re still walking around going, ‘Really? Really?’ ” she said. “I think gobsmacked, totally gobsmacked, is how I feel.”

In their fourth year, the awards honor people who make food that is not only delicious but also “respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions,” according to the Good Food Awards website. Adriana Janovitch, SR

How important is it to you to purchase organic or Fair Trade foods?

Three Spokane food-coffee businesses move on to Good Food Awards finals

Three Spokane area businesses are finalists for Good Food Awards.

Coffee roasters Doma and Roast House, and restaurant Santé made it through the first round of judging for the 2014 competition, sponsored by Seedling Projects of San Francisco.

The California public benefit corporation is dedicated to supporting the sustainable food movement. According to the organization, finalists “represent the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially conscious food entrepreneurs.”

This year, there were some 1,450 entries, double the number since the awards launched in 2009.

Finalists were named after 225 experts sampled entries in 10 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, preserves, pickles and spirits.

Winners will be announced Jan. 16 at a gala in San Francisco. Seedling Projects board member and renowned chef Alice Waters will present the awards.

For a complete list of finalists, visit www.goodfoodawards.org/winners. For more information about Seedling Projects, visit www.seedlingprojects.org.

Roast House releases Congolese coffee

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Roast House coffee has released new coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo that has local coffee lovers talking.

The coffee was grown by members of a cooperative of farmers called SOPACDI in the highlands of Congo near Lake Kivu. Years of conflict and civil war nearly destroyed the local coffee business and many growers were killed as they tried to protect their farms or smuggle coffee out of the country. The group supports the widows of men killed in the conflict and smuggling coffee with a premium price for their crops.

It is the first time coffee from the fair-trade cooperative was offered in the United States. Buyers grabbed it in less than 24 hours. Roast House, owner Deborah Di Bernardo, who had been looking for ways to support women who grow coffee and their families, is excited about the new coffee. They got just two bags, or about 280 pounds, of green coffee. But it's not just a good cause. The coffee is delicious, too. It features notes of tangerine and chai-like spices.

This promotional video was made by C3M Productions as Roast House released the coffee to their business partners. C3M shared it with us.

Roast House Congolese coffee is available in limited quantities and is only available as pour-over coffee, Chemex or French press because it is a delicate coffee bean and a light roast. The coffee is more expensive due to its limited availability.

Several coffee shops and restaurants began offering the Roast House Congolese coffee on Monday. Most shops are charging about $3 per 12-ounce cup.

Atticus Coffee & Gifts, 222 N. Howard St., (509) 747-0336

Boots Bakery & Lounge, 24 W. Main Ave., (509) 703-7223

Cannon Coffee and Cone, 1925 W. Fourth Ave., (509) 413-1898

Chairs Coffee, 113 W. Indiana Ave., (509) 340-8787

Manito Tap House, 3011 S. Grand Boulevard, (509) 279-2671

The Mason Jar, 101 F St., Cheney, (509) 359-8052

The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave., (509) 535-7171

The Wandering Table, a traveling monthly dinner, www.thewanderingtable.com

Roast House will take telephone and email requests for the Congolese coffee and roast it to order, as long as it lasts. It sells for $15 per pound. Reach Roast House at (509) 995-6500 or orders@roasthouse.net. The microroastery is located at 423 E. Cleveland Ave., Suite C, in Spokane.