Its Slurpees might be radioactive, and its hot dogs might be nightmare-inducing, but now there’s hope for coffee at 7-Eleven with the announcement yesterday that the chain is finally offering sustainably sourced coffee. The 7-Eleven single-origin coffee, made from Arabica beans from Nicaragua’s Matagalpa region, carries the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, which means it’s sourced from farms that don’t destroy wildlife, communities, or the environment. Hooray! According to the company, which is America’s fourth largest coffee retailer, the new brew is a “full-bodied, medium-dark roast with a delicious dark chocolate aroma and rich, sweet notes of cocoa.” And, apparently, it's still pretty cheap.
"It's a great tasting, premium cup of coffee without the premium price," said Nancy Smith, 7-Eleven senior vice president of fresh food and proprietary beverage merchandising, in a release. "And it does so with minimal impact on the environment. Nearly every major coffee-producing region of the world is under stress as changing weather patterns affect coffee production. By working with the Rainforest Alliance, we can help foster sustainable farming practices that protect natural resources.”
This July, 7-Eleven announced it was working with the non-profit organization Conservation International to reduce its carbon footprint. The company wants to reduce its energy and packaging footprint 20 percent by 2025. Currently, it’s working on designing eco-friendly packaging, including a recyclable stay-hot coffee cup, and packaging for hot food made with less material.
The coffee upgrade is definitely the most exciting news to come from 7-Eleven since this summer, when the company announced it had successfully completed its first drone delivery in Reno, NV. Will Rainforest Alliance-Certified coffee be coming to airspace near you? It’s not clear now, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.