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Tully's rolls out its first 'fair trade' espresso

Tully's Coffee Corp. has designed its first blend of fair trade espresso with the help of college students and will begin selling the blend at the University of Washington in the coming months.

The blend consists of Chiapas beans from Mexico, Sidamo beans and Yirgacheffe beans from Ethiopia, and Sumatra Gayo Mountain beans from

Representatives of UW Housing and Food Services, along with The Fair Trade Coalition, a UW student group, selected the espresso blend after tasting samples with Tully's roastmaster, Brian Speckman.

The Fair Trade Coalition gathered more than 40,000 signatures last winter asking for fair trade espresso on campus.

"It just makes sense, since we live in Seattle, we should be leading the nation in coffee awareness," said sophomore Tara Olson.

Speckman said the blend chosen by the students will become the company's standard fair trade espresso blend.

Rob Martin, vice president of merchandising and production for Seattle-based Tully's, said it was too soon to say whether the espresso would be widely marketed and distributed because of supply uncertainties.

Students say they hope to promote expansion of other fair trade products on campus.