Our Story

To get a complex cup of coffee, you have to start from the underground; in the soil and that’s where our story begins…

Tierra Nueva, or New Earth, began as a soil conservation movement among peasant farmers in the mountains of Honduras. It was a time of conflict, violence, poverty and immigration. Our founders Bob and Gracie Ekblad learned that real change begins when the people at the bottom of the system see that the devastation of their land, their soil, their story, can be restored.

Village after village saw their little corn plants tower high above their straw hats, offering shade and abundance. A generation later, Dagoberto Diaz and others were growing international specialty-grade coffee from those same slopes, looking for a market in the North. Meanwhile, Bob and young fellow jail chaplain Chris Hoke up in the Northwest’s Skagit Valley were working with many men restoring the soil of their lives after years of devastation. Zach Joy was one such man, tattooed and blossoming–but trapped in the underground, under the system.

With a sudden idea, a generous grant, and the help of some of Seattle’s finest coffee roasters, the Underground Coffee Project began. Dago and Zach. Honduras and the American underground. It all came together, through a coffee bean. Zach and others from the shadows are now small batch, artisan coffee roasters as rare and precious as our bean’s flavor profile. Brew a cup. Taste the fresh, robust balance of industry excellence with ecological, social and spiritual empowerment. All new movements begin underground. We’d love your next cup of coffee to be part of it.