Local Ground — Steel Cup Coffee Roasters, Penn Hills, PA

Who knew there was only one Certified Organic coffee roaster in Pittsburgh in 2014? Doug Pinto knew and saw a need, especially with the growing local food movement taking over the city. Having roasted his own Certified Fair Trade Organic (FTO) green coffee beans for years in a Whirley Pop popcorn maker over an outdoor propane burner (don’t try this at home), he was addicted to the fresh-roasted flavor.

After lots of research, Doug invested his savings in an Öztürk Bay 5 Kilo/11 lb. roaster from Turkey, sought out the best Certified FTO beans he could find from organic cooperatives and farms from around the world and Steel Cup Coffee was born.

“We moved from Missoula, MT, in search of the best school for one of our daughters, who has special needs,” begins Doug. “The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) was the winner, hands down. My background is in finance, but I was totally burned out. My wife, Daria, encouraged me to do what makes me happy. A fabulous cup of coffee makes me really happy.

“We have a very strong, sustainable, community-minded approach and we really care about what we eat. We were in the organic/Fair Trade/local food culture in Missoula and brought those practices with us here to Pittsburgh,” continues Doug.

“That said, we use only USDA-approved organic cleaning products and even package our coffee in compostable bags. On the back of our bags, you’ll notice the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for ‘coffee.’ We’re proud that our daughter attends The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and we’re devoted to nurturing an inclusive culture.”

Doug roasts in small quantities to ensure quality, consistency and exceptional flavor in every batch. He then packages his beans to order and delivers within days of roasting to ensure the freshest, best-tasting brew. We think it’s probably even better than the Whirley Pop version.

So, the next time you want a really good cup o’ joe, look for Doug’s many varieties of Steel Cup Coffee, including single-origin Colombia, Guatemala, Sumatra, Nicaragua and Ethiopia coffees along with his Black & Gold, Union, Hot Metal Half Caff and French Roast blends.