Matty, the mother of Amani owner Terra Jones, talks with City Council President Darlene Harris at a coffee tasting at Amani on Dec. 9. (Photo/Kelly Thomas)

Coffee connoisseurs from around the city crowded Amani International Coffeehouse on Dec. 9 to sample almost 20 blends of coffee roasted in-house and to support the American Diabetes Foundation and the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development.

Amani began roasting its own coffee in August and so far the 21 house blends have been well received, said owner Terra Jones.

The tasting, she said, was a complete success, with more than 100 attendees. Jones particularly enjoyed listening to guests talk about their favorite blends and how each one made them feel.

The tasting was sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and open to the public, but a donation to the American Diabetes Foundation or CEED was suggested. In addition to the coffee, Amani provided desserts and music.

CEED supports women and minorities in business, and Jones said the organization helped get her coffee roasting business off the ground.

Steelers player Nick Eason made a guest appearance and Jones said she was impressed with how kind and giving he was to the kids that attended.

Now, Jones said, the next step is to sell her coffee blends to offices and restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. Priory Fine Pastries on East Ohio Street recently switched to serving Amani Coffee, she said.

“We’re efficient, we’ll get the coffee delivered to you on time,” she said. “I’m confident Amani can stand up to the best [coffee shops and roasters] in our own unique way.”

Amani is located at 507 Foreland St. and is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 412-322-0647 or visit www.amanicoffeehouse.com