Economics of coffee discussed at Spencer’s

Lindsay Whittington

The ethics of coffee drinking will be up for discussion at Spencer’s Coffee on Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Matthew Huested, co-owner of Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, will be presenting “From Seed to Cup: The Economics of Coffee in Ecuador and Around the World.” 

Huested said he plans on discussing the intricate process of making coffee, from finding suppliers and growing the beans to roasting the perfect cup of coffee. His presentation will also address ensuring that coffee suppliers in countries like Ecuador are being paid fair wages, he said.

“What I would really like for people to do, from hearing me speak, is for them to think more deliberately about the coffee they drink,” Huested said. 

This event, the last installment on the International Year of Ecuador calendar, is part of WKU’s inaugural International Year Of … program.  

Katherine Paschetto, a graduate assistant in the Office of International Programs, said the program’s goal is to internationalize WKU’s campus through events and classroom discussions focused on a specific country.

“We want students this year to get a sense of Ecuador, whether they attend an event and taste some food, whether they hear about it in their courses,” Paschetto said. “We’re hoping it’s both.”

An estimated  2,500 people have cycled through International Year of Ecuador events, Paschetto said, and she expects many more Bowling Green community members to attend the “From Seed to Cup” event.

Coffee is ranked sixth on Ecuador’s largest exports at a value of around $433 million, according to the United Nations’ international trade statistics posted online. It’s also one of the world’s most traded commodities, second only to oil, Huested said. 

Justin Shepherd, the owner of Spencer’s, said he believes the event will appeal to many different people. 

“I just think it will be a good event for anybody in Bowling Green who is interested in either expanding their view of the world or just knowing a little bit more about where their coffee comes from,” Shepherd said.