About MISEA

Amituofo: Here’s to a dream 15 years in the making…

Monks working outside

From Michigan to Southeast Asia

Empowering vibrant community is what the One-Community Group aims to do on the daily. Part of that includes starting out the day with a morning meditation and practice of cultivating gratitude with her morning coffee for founder and Michigander, Mary ZumBrunnen. This special time fuels the rest of the day focused on community development. MISEA is a passion project connecting the dots between family, global community, fun, food and culture. Later this year you’ll have the chance to try other food products locally grown and produced in Michigan through the hard launch of One-Community Food. In the meantime, here’s a snippet of our roots…

One-Community Food Logo

Rewind back to 2004…

…Mary was teaching English through an earthquake in Taiwan at middle school summer camp, exploring the Sichuan Province in China, interviewed on MTV Hong Kong and eventually came to the real Shangri-La City in the Yunnan Province. In 2005 she led the US at the 5th International Students summit on Food, Agriculture and Environment in Tokyo, Japan. This sparked a genuine fire for travel and a passion that kept her going back.

With family ties in China and Singapore, she settled on a love of Southeast Asia and began to feel she had found her second home. Combining a background in food systems and desire to trace things back to their source, she decided to share her love of the exotic with Michigan. It has been many times through coffee across experience – from jet lag to trekking to board room meetings – that a moment of Zen was savored. MISEA coffees offer an experience that takes one abroad while ultimately bringing one back to Self from the first inhale to the last swallow in their present moment.

Woman and children with cake

Exploring all over Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, Mary has been using her background in international development and food with an eye toward bringing Michigan that which it cannot grow: coffee beans. MISEA aims to do this sustainably, through fair trade and organic practices as we’re able. From some countries and regions, this is not possible. However, it is our passion to support those family operated businesses that are strongly pursuing organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz and C4 Association methods. For example, in Cambodia, coffee is frequently unregulated and monitoring is lax. On the other hand in Vietnam, the 2nd largest exporter of coffee in the world, there are many sustainable coffee plantations and better regulation. Partnering with farmers to help them in their business growth and to achieve certification helps make the world a better place.

Additionally, we do not work with any type of Luwak Kopi (typically based in Indonesia) utilizing inhumane animal practices.

Luwak in cage

It is our true wish that as Mary gained many moments of clarity in the heat, aromas and wake-up call of the East, so too will you enjoy your palate’s exploration of these eye opening brews. We’ve found that bold Arabica might be the perfect remedy for jet lag when trying to make up hours. Perhaps you might take it with a little condensed milk in the morning. A good Robusta will pick you up in the afternoon. The Liberica, more of a Malaysian rarity, is similar to Arabica and enjoyed by those with unique tastes gravitating toward the earthy. Regardless of your pick, each will transport you toward the equator, volcanic chains and the sounds of chanting to inspire your soul while providing mental clarity.

Sunrise over building

Commemorating our inaugural import

While in Vietnam in 2019, Mary traveled to the Tu Hieu Pagoda to be in the Presence of global spiritual leader and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh as he prepares to make his transition. In the West, often referred to as the “Father of Mindfulness”, Thay (the Vietnamese word for teacher or master) is a Buddhist monk, author, peace activist and living legend. Mary says it’s her foundation in mindfulness and daily meditation that allow for helpful centered grounding, mental and emotional balance. Many agree that it’s also a big part of those Western coffee breaks that allow for the personal time to unplug, relax and be present allowing the highest version of ourselves to come forth.

Gate outside temple surrounded by water

It is the profound impact of such Eastern originating practices that enabled Mary to know herself more deeply. Therefore, with gratitude we are so pleased to bring you Vietnamese specialty coffee beans as the first import to  commemorate this experience. There is so much more self-exploration for the allowing. So many more journeys for the taking. Together, let us be present in true connection with a global reach. Are you ready?

Namaste.