Todd Carmichael: American of the Year

Todd Carmichael, local coffee maven and founder of La Colombe, has been named one of the 2011 Americans of the Year by Esquire Magazine. Carmichael is listed alongside Apple's dearly departed Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and astronaut Mark Kelly.

Carmichael is known throughout the world for his philanthropic efforts, most notably his clean water well-drilling efforts in Africa, known as Charity Water. This year, Carmichael headed to Haiti to restore direct trade with coffee farmers who haven't seen fair prices for their spectacular beanage in decades.

After meeting with the farmers about working with La Colombe, Carmichael agreed to pay $5 per pound of beans, up from the paltry $1.60 middlemen were offering, which made it one of the most expensive green coffees on the planet. Carmichael also invested in a bean dryer that would help the community keep production up during the rainy season.

"The farmers would start making real money," Carmichael said to Esquire. "And if it spread, money would flow to thousands of Haitians. Not charity, income."

We would have given him the award for releasing Pure Black, but then again we have tunnel vision for caffeinated products. [The Feast, Esquire]

Photo Credit: Main Line Today

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