Since 1987, The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) has operated its industrial coffee factory at Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP). The enterprise processes green coffee beans from around the world by blending, roasting, grinding, weighing and packaging them various size bags for sale to tax supported agencies and institutions.
There are two basic blends produced within the CALPIA Coffee Roasting Enterprise—State Premium Blend and Mule Creek Blend, regular and decaf. Staff sources raw green coffee beans from around the world to use in ensuring quality and consistency in each roast and blend.
The CALPIA coffee enterprise employs 25 offenders. CALPIA staff trains and supervises these offenders in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in coffee cupping, blending, roasting, grinding and packaging techniques. CALPIA staff also trains offenders in rigorous quality control methods as practiced in the coffee industry.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is working with CALPIA to meet the criteria for an accredited coffee roasting certification through its official trade guild, the SCAA Roasters Guild, an association of specialty roasters dedicated to the craft of roasting quality coffee.
During the 20011-12 fiscal year, CALPIA produced 400,000 pounds of roasted coffee and 80,000 pounds of instant coffee for government agencies.
Photos by CDCR photographer Eric Owens