Fairwinds cannabis coffee keeps it local
I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed by the innovation going on at Fairwinds Manufacturing, of one of Vancouver’s newest I-502 marijuana grower-processors.
The company’s owner, James Hull, has put together a broad line of interesting products that I haven’t seen anywhere else. They have several concentrates, including something called “space foam.” They have pot pills, tinctures, vape cartridges and several other intriguing things coming down the pipeline.
And one of their most interesting and cool products launched on Saturday at the opening of The Herbery: Catapult cannabis premium infused coffee.
Hull, a coffee connoisseur in his own right, decided early on to make an infused coffee product because it was near and dear to his heart.
“I was thinking about setting up a coffee roaster and coffee company before I got into this business actually,” Hull said.
But while some companies use canned coffee and just add THC or concentrates to it, he wanted to make something that true coffee loves would enjoy, so he decided to infuse whole beans.
He also wanted to make it special by working with other local small businesses – so he chose Vancouver’s Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters as his first partner.
“I went around and interviewed multiple roasters in town, and Paper Tiger has great coffee and was the most interested in working with us,” Hull said.
Kenny Fletcher, owner of Paper Tiger, said he was excited when Hull suggested using his coffee for something new.
“We’re always open to trying something new,” Fletcher said. “I’m intrigued to know what the public thinks of it. It’s a brand new scenario for us.”
Fletcher admits he isn’t really a marijuana user. He said he tried it in his youth but didn’t like it much. But he added that he does plan to try the Catapult coffee at some point soon.
“I will try it, just to be able to relate my thoughts on it if somebody asks about it,” Fletcher said.
His biggest hope is that consumers enjoy the coffee he provides for the mix, he said.
“I can’t wait for customer feedback, I want to know if they like it, would they like something lighter, darker?” Fletcher said.
The two companies are also trying to figure out how much demand will be there for the coffee – because they want to keep it as fresh as possible.
“We’re trying to find out how fast it’s going to sell, because we want it to be the freshest coffee roast,” Fletcher said. “We’ll probably supply them on a weekly basis with beans.”
Fairwinds grinds the coffee right before packaging, in another step to make it as fresh as possible, Hull said.
Hull said he’d also like to work with small roasters in other parts of the state where his coffee will be sold. For instance, he’d like to find a small Seattle area roaster to work with for a coffee he will market in that area.
“If this takes off business wide it could be great for lots of small roasters in the state,” Hull said. “We want to have great quality, great tasting coffee. It’s critical that we start with high quality.”
While he considered selling the coffee in bean form, Hull said he came to the conclusion that he should grind it first for safety reasons.
“The biggest reason we do that is so people don’t have to use their own grinder,” Hull said. “We didn’t want the grinder to get contaminated with THC in case the grinder gets used by other people in the home. We don’t want to have minors accidentally exposed to anything.”
That step isn’t required by I-502, but Hull said he wanted to do it anyway because safety is important.
Fairwinds also plans on releasing a decaf coffee and some different roast types.
The coffee comes in a bag with 10 smaller bags for each serving inside – which is a bit of a hassle, packaging wise. Hull said he’s working with the Liquor Control Board to see if he can package the coffee with a measuring scoop to cut down on the production time.
He said the company is also working on a line of tea products that it hopes to launch soon.