Air Quality

Posted: October 6, 2015

Hello Friends & Neighbors – We wanted share an open letter that was sent to our co-workers regarding indoor air quality, the coffee roasting industry, and the comprehensive testing we performed earlier this year. Needless to say we were pleased, but not surprised by the results.

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To All Colectivans-

As some of you are aware, there has been recent interest in the indoor air quality of coffee roasting plants. Most of this interest has been in plants that produce high-volumes of flavored coffee as well as flavored popcorn. The issues have been related to the presence of two specific substances, Diacetyl and 2,3 Pentanedione. Both are naturally occurring in many products, including roasted coffee beans, but when inhaled in high concentrations could have adverse health effects.

While we were completely confident of the indoor air quality at our roasting facility, we wanted to confirm it, so we engaged GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. to do two days of comprehensive indoor air sampling to satisfy our expectations and our employees’ safety. We are pleased to say that the air our production staff breathed all tested below the recommended levels of Diacetyl (they wore sampling equipment as they worked). The levels of 2,3 Pentanedione were so low as to not be measurable.

During this same testing, GZA also sampled our carbon dioxide (CO2) levels inside. Typical indoor environments have roughly twice the levels of CO2 as the outdoor environment – our indoor air had about the same amount of CO2 as outdoor air does – we were really pleased, they were really impressed! That means we’re bringing in a lot of fresh, outdoor air.

These results are not random, nor a fluke. Some of you may remember way back in 2005 (when we had less gray hair) all of the effort that went into designing our Humboldt facility. We invested considerable time and energy creating a sophisticated HVAC system to ensure our indoor air quality was top notch. This was important to ensure a great work environment for our people and also to make sure our product came out of our roasters just right. It feels good to know that all that effort (and gray hair) is still paying dividends.

Lastly, we are proud to be part of an organization that not only delivers fantastic products with skill and a smile, inside of beautiful, hand-made environments…but that we’re also setting the bar on indoor air quality.

Thank you to all!

Lincoln, Ward and Paul


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