My morning cup of Joe is more than perfunctory – one could say my day will not start without it. A great cup of coffee doesn’t just wake me up. It fills me with warmth and is the first delicious sip of a new day.
So when I woke up one day to the taste of a rich, smooth blend from Aldia Coffee, I knew this family business was run by people who really know their coffee.
Only six months into their coffee venture, Dana Morales and her husband Cristian have already made an impression in Katy. Covid forced them to change their business model, so while they do not run a traditional coffee shop, they sell everything through their website, www.AldiaCoffee.com. To get the word out, they will travel to any event for fundraising and volunteering opportunities, and they always come with coffee.
“Two things are special about us,” said Morales. “First, our coffee really is so good because we source specialty, micro-lot and single-origin coffee from two famous Costa Rican growing regions – Brunca and Tarrazu. The special climate and fertile volcanic soil produce two distinctive flavors from the Caturra and Catuai variety of coffee plants. This produces a medium-bodied cup with bright acidity and natural notes of tropical citrus. In Costa Rica, it’s illegal to grow anything but the aromatic and sweetly structured Arabica species of coffee. Our coffee is not being offered anywhere else in the Houston market. It’s a unique flavor!”
“The second thing,” Morales continued, “is that we really care about our community and want to use this platform as a way to reach into it and support local groups. We are interested in partnering with schools, charities, churches, youth groups and other non-profits to raise money, and we will donate from our own profits.”
This is precisely how I tasted Aldia Coffee for the first time. Morales and her husband were invited to the Katy Christian Chamber Breakfast last December. They loved the positive atmosphere and the fact that people were encouraged to express their faith. The Morales asked if they could provide the coffee as a way to promote their brand and make connections, and they have since joined the organization and are eager for members’ and guests’ feedback. As a devoted coffee drinker – and one who won’t drink anything but Arabica – I immediately noticed just how good their brew is. The fact that they donated it scored them even more points with me.
“The key for us is to be consistent and to be present in the community,” said Morales. We recently participated in fundraising with our local Neill Elementary Longhorns and look forward to collaborating with more groups in our community. In December we had the honor of serving our coffee for Bill and Kate Nash’s Champion Kids Club Christmas Party. It was a great time for a beautiful cause and it’s the kind of thing that makes this venture special for us. We want to walk God’s path and be a force for good while building something lasting for our family.”
Aldia Coffee is a family business with roots in Costa Rica. Cristian and his brother Manuel were born and raised there. Dana is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. The two met in 2002 on Dana’s study abroad to Costa Rica. They have been married almost 17 years and have 2 daughters ages 7 and 11. They began importing tropical produce from Costa Rica in 2017 and launched their Aldia Coffee project about 6 months ago. Morales said, “Costa Rica is famous for its high coffee–growing standard, so it was a natural move. We partnered with some great people in Costa Rica who source our beans responsibly from ‘Beneficios’ who are very involved in their community. They’ve created programs to assist young future leaders, elderly patrons, and women workers, and they rebuild homes for families and sponsor a medical clinic. We are very impressed with what they do and how they do it with a heart.”
It’s clear that the family is not just about great coffee, but about reaching out where there is need and understanding their market in doing so. “One thing I have learned is that coffee is a very personal and individual experience. Everyone has their own preference, and with the variety available and so many ways to make it, the ‘right and wrong way’ is not nearly as relevant as just what you like,” Morales said.
And being Christians is a huge part of the Moraleses’ business model. Even with the hardship of opening a new business during an international pandemic, Dana has found the positive. “God guides us in all that we do, and it is because of Him that we have this opportunity. We believe that if we do our part, if we are honest and deliberate in our business, and if we show up for community, Aldia Coffee can be a ripple. Our company has allowed me to be with my family so much more, to support my children through online learning, and to help my husband manage a stressful schedule, and it’s all a work in progress. I am grateful for these blessings.”
For a fantastic cup of Joe, be sure to check out Aldia Coffee and use code “KCM” on their website for 25% off your entire order. Or, you can call Dana directly at (713) 933-8270 and mention this article. Local area delivery is always free.
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