Third Coast Coffee Staff

Partner Spotlight: Third Coast Coffee

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Third Coast Coffee logoDirect. Transparent. Fair. Three words general manager and roaster Tom Novak uses to describe Third Coast Coffee. We’ll take the liberty of adding a fourth: delicious. This is small-batch roa­sting at its finest.

Third Coast Coffee, Austin’s hometown roasters, remains committed to providing high quality beans at a fair price, while trading directly with organic farm co-ops around the world. They proudly remove the middlemen. By working with coffee farmers in Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, and a dozen other countries across four continents, they ensure a higher income for their producers and better price controls for their business. This lets them pour more energy into their passion: roasting coffee.

Enter Joe Lozano, the aptly named owner and chief roasting officer at Third Coast. Steeped in over 21 years of experience, Joe Lozano is a pillar of the Austin coffee-roasting community. Travel just south of 290 on South Congress and you can catch a strong whiff of Joe’s craft. The Third Coast headquarters is a whizzing hub of roasting, packaging, and international marketing, not to mention a storefront for local bean fiends and java connoisseurs—all run by an agile staff of twelve.

If you ask them how this all began…well, at the risk of a bad pun: “It was very organic.”

Lozano was roasting coffee by day and doing what most human beings do at night—eating. Which led him to Tom, a veteran in the restaurant industry. They hit it off. Tom began to “daylight” as a production assistant, eventually rising to the prestige of coffee roaster and right-hand man to Joe.

Nicaraguan woman picking coffee beans


Under Joe’s leadership, Third Coast fostered long-standing business relationships with co-ops around the world, such as PROCOCER and CECOCAFEN in Nicaragua. Joe periodically visits co-op farmers and has conducted roasting workshops south of the border. Tom describes it as the perfect symbiosis: farmers who rarely see the end-product of their labors gain insight into the roasting and production process, while the Third Coast team learns firsthand how the coffee beans are harvested and processed. It’s a true international exchange.

Third Coast’s fair exchange approach and strong connection with Nicaragua were exactly what attracted Tab Barker three years ago. He saw a synergy of missions and the potential for partnership between Project Schoolhouse and Third Coast Coffee.

Now entering its fourth year of partnership, Third Coast Coffee has been generously donating its artisan coffee to supporters of Project Schoolhouse and recently increased its stewardship to cover all shipping costs across the US. This is a tremendous benefit for the Project Schoolhouse community, and it completes the cycle of partnership that both organizations provide to rural communities in Nicaragua.

Please join us in thanking Joe Lozano and Third Coast Coffee for their fair business practices and great generosity toward Project Schoolhouse. You can learn more (and get more coffee!) at If you’re in the Austin area, please visit them at 4402 S. Congress Ave #109.

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