Living in Nicaragua – known for its rich tasting coffee – provided the inspiration for a former St. Charles resident and her husband to start their own coffee company.
Angela Oehlerking and her husband, Andrew, founded Good Trip Coffee in 2016. The company recently launched a new subscription coffee club experience.
Good Trip Coffee is primarily an online subscription retailer that also is available in select Anthropologie stores across the country.
"Living in Nicaragua, we were getting around by motorcycle," Angela Oehlerking said. "If you leave every town, there's a sign that says 'Buen viaje,' which means have a good trip. As you consume coffee, it takes you to a different state of mind. You start in one place and you end up some place different. And we want that experience to be a good experience as well."
Angela Oehlerking grew up in St. Charles and Geneva and is a 2001 graduate of the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora. Andrew is originally from Cary. The couple now lives in Colorado.
While living in Nicaragua, the couple had a chance to see how coffee was produced and the people behind it.
"We wanted to be a part of that and be a part of elevating the industry and maybe reversing some of the inequities and making things a little more fair and giving smallholder producers a sustainable market to sell their coffee," Angela Oehlerking said. "That was all kind of the impetus behind us eventually deciding to partner with women coffee producers who face some of the biggest challenges around the world."
Good Trip Coffee works with women and smallholders exclusively who get paid above fair trade price based on quality, not commodity. The company contributes one percent of all sales to the Nuevo Amanecer Women’s Cooperative Scholarship Fund – a fund managed entirely by its members, which provides access to higher education.
Coffee lovers can purchase single origin coffees (fresh coffee from one cooperative or producer), blends (a mixture of fresh coffees from more than one origin) and infusions (fresh ground coffee hand-mixed with organic raw ingredients) in two primary brewing formats: cold brew, pre-portioned into convenient brew bags and mixed grounds, packaged loose and best brewed in a French press.
Their coffee has been well received.
"When people drink our infusions, we hear over and over again that it's some of the most delicious coffee they've ever had," she said.
At the same time, they don't want their customers to feel over caffeinated.
"We really wanted to create an experience that is refreshing and at the end, you certainly feel uplifted but not to the point of being jittery," Angela Oehlerking said. "That again kind of ties in with our name, that we want it to be a good experience."
For more information on Good Trip Coffee and its subscription offerings, go to goodtripcoffee.com.