Hat tip to New Advent on this story of the Carmelites. These monks make great coffee and it is helping them to build a monastery in Wyoming! Here is the story from The Boston Piot:
A small Carmelite monastery in Clark, Wyo., has seen its coffee sales take off in the last couple of years, and the growing awareness of its coffee business has brought an added benefit to the community -- more members.
"In the past two years, the monks themselves have grown from six to 15 monks and all the new monks are under 25, some right out of high school," said Susie George, a neighbor of the monks who helped with marketing and computer work for the coffee business, in a letter e-mailed to Catholic News Service.
One young man from Australia said he has found his place in life there.
Carmelite Brother Paul Marie told CNS in a Nov. 4 phone interview that he was searching for more in life than just "conforming to society" and the Wyoming religious order has provided that for him.
Brother Paul said he discovered the monastery by searching for religious orders online but was initially attracted to the Carmelite order because of the joy and spiritual aspect of the community and the fact that some of his favorite saints -- including St. John of the Cross and St. Therese -- were Carmelites.
He also found he has a place in the cloistered monks' coffee business.
Brother Paul started his work in packaging and then helped in operations, shipping the coffee products and ordering coffee beans. They call their product Mystic Monk Coffee.
Now he heads up the team, thanks "to his previous business experience -- he managed an electronics department store at the age of 17," Carmelite Brother Elias told CNS by e-mail.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is "working with a lot of good monks," said Brother Paul.
Originally from Australia, he said tea is much more popular than coffee in his home country, but he has grown to love coffee. His favorite type of Mystic Monk Coffee is what the monastery calls Midnight Vigils Blend, with the name based on the monk's midnight prayers.
While Wyoming's climate isn't made for growing coffee, the monks import coffee beans from many of the world's coffee-growing regions, frequently blending them to get just the right taste and aroma.
The monks have a new Christmas blend. Brother Paul said it is their "most complicated blend," using eight different kinds of beans, each roasted at different temperatures.
Because business is growing, "we have installed a new coffee roaster and had to move our packaging operation into our monastery garage," Brother Elias said.
Orders are coming in from all over, he added. Some customers live in Malta, Sweden, New Zealand, Guam and Israel.
According to George, the monastery's neighbor, the Carmelite monks' coffee business has blessed the Clark community by providing employment, including giving a job to a young man who "came all the way from Missouri to be around the monastery and the monks realized that he could use a good steady job to help him figure things out."
But she pointed to an "unexpected blessing." "My daughter, Bridgett, who was looking for a husband for some time, found the man of her dreams at the monastery -- a young man who came to work for the monastery ... to find direction in life," George added.
"The example of (the monks') lives dedicated to prayer and serving God cannot help but affect all who come into contact with them," she said.
More information about the Wyoming monastery and its Mystic Monk Coffee is available at the Web site www.mysticmonkcoffee.com.