Devastating floods in Louisiana have displaced thousands of people – people that have lost everything. In some parishes, around 75% of homes have been called a “total loss”. The American Red Cross is estimating that they’ll serve 1.2 million meals during their flood efforts – and Heine Brothers’ wants to help.
For each LARGE drink sold at all Heine Brothers’ and Vint Coffee locations this week, we’ll donate 25¢ to the American Red Cross for their Louisiana Flood Relief Efforts.
- Red Cross Louisiana Flood Response Information
- Louisiana flooding is worst disaster since Sandy, but people aren’t talking about it
- Louisiana flooding: 10 things you need to know
- Louisiana Flooding: Volunteers Descend on Stricken State to Assist Relief Efforts
- Louisiana flood: Worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy, Red Cross says
If you’ve been to one of our downtown stores, chances are you may have met Tyler, one of our stellar baristas!
With a view of Fourth Street Live, Tyler serves up drinks to his favorite regulars and plenty of out-of-town visitors. And when he’s not working at Heine Brothers’, he’s tutoring and mentoring at Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
Sarah nominated Tyler because he’s “always so fun to work with, and has such a great attitude. He’s perfect for a meet your barista feature!”
Which location do you work at?
I work downtown, primarily at our 4th Street location and occasionally at Main Street.
How long have you been working at HB?
I started in November 2015, so 8 months! It’s been a blast!
Are you a native Louisvillian or Transplant?
I’m originally from Lexington but moved to Louisville last June. I’m already starting to feel like a native!
What kind of work do you do with Kentucky Refugee Ministries?
KRM works to help families make a fresh start when they arrive in the U.S. They offer resettlement, English classes, job training, and many other sources in order to make the transition from refugee to resident as smooth as possible. I work as a tutor and mentor, along with another volunteer, for one family with children of many different ages. We help with schoolwork and try to provide some basic English instruction, but I see our primary goal as being positive role models and providing support. It’s SO MUCH FUN, and I hope to continue doing work like this in the future.
What drew you to work for Kentucky Refugee Ministries?
I took a class during my senior year at Centre College that explored social justice, poverty, homelessness, and other related topics. We had a project that involved visiting a nearby agency and preparing a report of their work, goals, and impact, to be presented to the class. My group visited the KRM office in Lexington and I was intrigued by the organization and the work it does. After moving to Louisville, I was looking for opportunities related to teaching, tutoring, and language instruction–and I remembered KRM. It’s been an incredible experience!
What part of working with the organization do you enjoy most?
I plan to become a teacher, so the work I do is directly aligned with that and has helped me in planning the start of my education career. The most significant part of my work, though, is seeing the impact I’m able to make in the lives of these kids. They’re always SO excited when we visit and have so much enthusiasm for learning and for living. It would be a challenge not to be inspired by that!
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve gotten, or that’s stuck with you the most?
One of the first phrases that comes to mind is something I learned as a camp counselor a few summers ago: Give of Yourself Always. Our director always worked that in with everything he told us and had made a small sign with the letters “GOYA” on it, which he left by the fireplace in the dining hall. I think that concept can be applied to any situation. Being personally invested in everything you do can boost your attitude, increase the quality of your work, and brighten the lives of others. It can be a simple thing to strive for every day, or an overarching theme to your life. For me, it’s a sort of mantra that helps me remain focused on what is important.
Your most fearless moment?
Since graduating from Centre last May, I’ve faced a number of challenges–moving out on my own for the first time, learning the lay of the land in a new city, and just figuring out how to be an adult. It all happened very abruptly and I have definitely pushed myself, but I think that has made me a better and more capable person today.
Top location on your travel bucket list?
I’ve heard Europe is wonderful, so that’s one (very broad) location, but I’d like to explore more of Central and South America. I spent a semester in Mexico and visited Cuba, so I’d like to keep pushing further south!
Favorite HB drink & why?
My go-to is just a cup of whatever we have brewing, usually black (Peru Jaén might be my favorite right now) but my favorite specialty drink is the Mayan Mocha. I’m not much of a fan of really sweet drinks, and the Mayan Mocha goes in a completely different direction. Also, I like the fact that the drink uses powders instead of syrups. I think it’s the most fun to make (and drink)!
Forecastle Festival is nearly here, which means you might be gearing up for a music-filled day or weekend. Maybe you’ve even listened to your Forecastle playlist enough times you know the songs by heart.
At Heine Brothers’, Forecastle Festival time means more than a great lineup. It also marks the anniversary of an important partnership with Forecastle Foundation, the nonprofit that continues the original festival’s mission of environmental activism and conservation.
Meet The Maker: Karen Weeks
If you’ve seen our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere, chances are the first thing you noticed before taking a sip was the beautifully designed bag. That’s thanks to local printer Karen Weeks, the maker behind our Explorer Series coffee bags.
Karen describes her design style as a balance, “between what I would call handmade, but also ‘Chosen’ – with an intentional feel.”
Karen achieves that style by first hand drawing the design, then tweaking details, planning size, and experimenting with colors in Photoshop. Afterwards her design gets transferred to a woodblock via a laser cutter, that will then leave an impression of the pattern on the paper. Each color of the pattern represents one time through the press. For the bag’s text, Karen typesets the individual letters(the movable metal type).
After mixing and preparing the colored inks, she applies it to the roller of Heidelberg Windmill letterpress. When the woodcut is aligned and the press is turned on, it will individually stamp the design on the paper of each bag sleeve.
You can see the impressive results of this process when you check out the recently released Sumatra Silk bag, the second of the small-lot Explorer Series coffees.
Like the first Explorer Series bag, Karen’s design for Sumatra Silk was heavily shaped by the origins of the coffee. Costume patterns from the Gayo region of Sumatra caught her eye when researching the Permata Gayo Cooperative, the group of farmers producing the beans for the Sumatra.
The patterns on the bag’s sleeves are modeled from the textures and forms of the regional dress, and the colors she chose are traditional to the area as well.
“I really like textiles. I’ve always been drawn to that – one of my other focuses in school was textiles, and then when I was living in Germany I was doing a lot of knitting and sewing.”
And that crafted influence in her work was especially appropriate for the Explorer Series project, because it’s “like all the hands that grew and worked on this coffee.”
Textiles weren’t the only influence on her style, though. Karen grew up in Louisville, but has lived all over, often in the pursuit of her art. From her first job as a professional printer in New York City, to a non-paying apprenticeship in small-town Alabama, to San Francisco, Detroit and even Germany, Karen’s clean but handmade style has developed through her exposure to the different artists she’s worked with or studied.
Even her current studio roommate, who she divides the printing space with, has shared tools and typographic knowledge that has helped her develop some of the techniques she’s used for the Explorer Series project.
“You can always learn from what’s around you. It’s about doing what’s natural in the environment you are currently in… Making [art] for other people, people you care about, is a great place to start. Making art they will love and then just keep doing it.”
If you loved her work on the last two Explorer Series bags as much as we have, be on the lookout for her designs on the next two coffees in the series.
Her personal favorite of Heine Brothers’ coffees? She’s sticking to the iced latte: “I love the Iced Latte, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I don’t get it very often because it’s a treat, but the Iced Latte.”
Contact Karen Weeks at email@example.com for more info or business interest!