Craft Coffee Talk with Blue Donkey


Craft Coffee Talk with Blue Donkey

By Laura Carson Miller


Not a day goes by when most people don’t wake up and drink the coffee, not to mention in the afternoon and the evening, too.

Blue Donkey Coffee was co-founded by three Atlanta natives with a passion for delicious, locally-roasted craft coffee. Ed Lane was born in Atlanta but spent most of his life in Brazil. Considering Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world he had strong relationships with many family owned coffee farms. Through his connections he learned all aspects of coffee including planting, harvesting, roasting, brewing, and espresso making. He moved here to the states in his thirties with his wife and their children including son David who is a Blue Donkey co-founder, along with William Rankin.

As a company, Blue Donkey goes above and beyond to work with local vendors, use only natural products, and recycle and reuse most of their waste.  Their first product was the now famous Blue Donkey Craft Iced Coffee, which they sold at local farmers markets. I asked David about the personal appeal of iced coffee for he and his partners and wasn’t surprised to learn it was created, like many other products in this big world, because they were not satisfied with what was already available on the market. “We always loved iced coffee drinks but we didn’t like the artificial flat taste of many sold by large chains,” David shared. “We also didn’t like that many had artificial ingredients. So we set out to create a fresh 100% natural one.” After years of researching and developing Blue Donkey combined local Georgia milk, our small-batch craft brewed coffee, and natural cane sugar to create their own special recipe. “It was an instant success! We since have created many new blends including Blue Donkey Original, Blue Donkey Light, Summer Almond, Four 65, Parry Raspberry, Pure Brew, and Chocolate Brigadeiro (All 100% natural ingredients).

Why the name Blue Donkey, you ask? The moniker comes from a donkey Ed saw in rainforest of Central America, the loving and faithful carrier, through high elevations, deep inclines, and rough terrain, of 80 lbs of freshly picked coffee cherries. After processing, if the product meets export quality standards, coffee shop customers in America, Europe, or Japan sitting around fancy tables in air conditioned spaces may eventually enjoy the coffee without necessarily knowing where it came from.  “Blue Donkey Coffee celebrates the donkey’s owner, Don Isidro, his life and the livelihood of local communities throughout the globe!” Ed offers humbly.

Blue Donkey gives back by partnering with Frontline Missions, a dedicated and vivacious missions group who work closely with several indigenous groups in Central America. Frontline Missions has worked with the Tolupan Indians of Honduras for many years. The Tolupans are a native people who live high in the mountains of  Honduras and who earn most of their income from their small coffee farms.  Their challenge is to get their beans to market.  At Blue Donkey Coffee, we seek to purchase their beans at a fair market value. This will enable the Tolupan people to earn a higher wage on their crop and increase their standard of living. ” Our direct connection with the Frontline Missions Tolupan Project is all about relationships. We don’t just have a business relationship. We truly care and have an ongoing authentic personal relationship with Frontline’s leaders and coordinators, Ed tells me. “We are a customer-centric company but we are also a farmer-centric organization.”

For more information, visit or contact Ed Lane at

Blue Donkey bottled iced coffee is sold at Whole Foods, Sprouts and farmer’s markets throughout Atlanta. Their coffee beans come from a variety of countries, with an emphasis on direct trade with the farmers. Many of their coffees are 100% USDA Organic.

Because David and I want to share the Blue Donkey Craft Coffee love with you, offer code BLUE30 get you a 30% discount when your order Blue Donkey Craft Coffee online March 17th – April 17th. It’s really so delicious and I know you’re going to love it. You’re welcome!