North Central College - Naperville, IL

Espresso yourself!

Espresso yourself!

Students (in free enterprise) find their conscience in conscious bean coffee.

North Central College’s Office of Admission serves delicious Conscious Bean coffee—a brew served with an educational story. And it’s a story any North Central student can be part of, including the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to meet farmers who grow the beans.

Called Conscious Bean because it’s produced in a socially conscious way, the coffee is imported by Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), which sponsors a wide range of entrepreneurial and social justice projects. One project of SIFE focuses on operating a direct trade business called NCC’s Best to sell goods from seven countries, including the coffee imported from San Lucas Toliman in the highlands of Guatemala. North Central students market the coffee, helping the growers receive a fair market price.

As part of the coffee project, students interested in international business, economics, Spanish, anthropology and other disciplines can travel to Guatemala during December Term to learn firsthand about harvesting and processing coffee beans. They learn that coffee farming involves hard physical labor and they also better understand the culture and community of the indigenous Maya farmers.

The coffee and other fair market goods are available in a newly opened store on campus. “This store is an example of the difference we, as students, can make, since we can share the stories of artisans and farmers with the whole community,” said Sunbir Gill, SIFE student president.

Each year, the SIFE team competes nationally against other colleges and universities. Teams are judged on how well their projects educate others about the free enterprise system. North Central’s team consistently ranks in the top 20 out of more than 800 U.S. schools that compete.

To learn more about NCC’s Best products, visit and/or visit the SIFE store located at 100 E. Jefferson Avenue, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Visit to view a series of 14 episodes called the Mission Coffee Can. The series focuses on SIFE students’ mission to share their story with U.S. consumers about Guatemala and documents their travel to Central America up through the process of presenting at SIFE’s national competition.

Mission Coffee Can is sponsored by Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, the beverage equipment maker.

The film series is produced by Sinnott Productions.