For most of us, drinking coffee is like brushing our teeth: It’s something we do every morning and we don’t give it too much thought. But there’s a complicated history, along with a whitewashed present when it comes to your favorite latte. Black diasporic communities around the world play an important part in the growing, processing, and distribution of coffee, yet they are often removed from its narrative. So to celebrate Black History Month, we’ve put together a guide with some great items from Black-owned companies across the country. These brands aren’t just selling beans and merch – they are also making specialty coffee more accessible to communities that, historically, have not been catered to.
We hope this guide is helpful, but it is in no way a comprehensive list. There are plenty of other Black-owned coffee brands out there that are equally as deserving of your attention. Seek them out, give them your money, and add them to your rotation, not just this month, but always.
We’re recommending these products because we actually use, and like, them. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
“Coffee Should Be Dope” Hat From Deadstock Coffee
Ian Williams went from being a shoe designer at Nike to starting Deadstock Coffee where coffee, art, and sneaker culture intersect, so naturally, any apparel from this Portland-based roastery is fantastic. This hat in particular is our favorite because it speaks to Ian’s mission behind creating Deadstock - to make dope, “snob-free” coffee for everyone.
1893 Coffee Flight From Kahawa 1893
Kahawa 1893 is a woman-owned coffee roastery that sources their beans exclusively from small farms in Kenya, run mostly by female farmers. They have some of the best coffee out there, and the 1893 Coffee Flight is a great way to try their top three products. It comes with twelve-ounce bags of their Kenyan single-origin beans and their medium roast Safari blend. You’ll also get a bag of their espresso beans which, frankly, will make paying for an extra shot at Starbucks a shameful memory of the past.
Mama Oya Box From Boon Boona Coffee
Another box we really like is this one from Washington based Boon Bonna Coffee. They source their coffees from across East Africa, and just like Kahawa, most of their beans come from women-owned growers.
“Love Black People Like You Love Black Cxffee” T-Shirt From Cxffeeblack
Cxffeeblack is a lot more than just a coffee roastery, says owner Bartholomew Jones. Along with his wife, Jones built this company as a lifestyle brand that uses funds from apparel and events sales to create opportunities for Black communities. This t-shirt in particular speaks to their overarching mission - to reclaim coffee as part of Black culture. As for their coffee, we’ve featured their Guji Mane dime bag in our How To Choose The Right Coffee Beans guide.
Super Mario Pixel Coffee Mug From RetroFuture Coffee
Very few things in life are as nostalgic as Super Mario Brothers and that feeling led Anthony Robinson to create RetroFuture Coffee. Their online store has tons of great retro-inspired stuff like coffees named after iconic 90’s movies, totes and t-shirts, as well as this mug shaped like Mario’s in game bff - the Warp Pipe (sorry Luigi). Buy this mug, along with a bag of their Saving the Princess coffee for the full Nintendo effect.
The Dope Box From Dope Coffee
Some people drink coffee to survive, some only drink pour overs brewed in a Chemex (which they think belongs in MOMA), and then there are folks who love coffee so much that they could practically bathe in it. If you’re among the last group, we recommend The Dope Box from Dope Coffee. Inside, you’ll find an 8oz bag of coffee, a coffee scented candle, coffee face and body scrub, and a coffee-infused syrup, all for the price of an average Chemex brewer that your roommate will eventually shatter.
Coffee Meat Rub From Bad Beans Coffee
We don’t know who first thought of seasoning meat with coffee, but what we do know is that they would love this rub from Bad Beans Coffee. It’s made with their medium roast Doctor House blend, along with brown sugar and complementary warm spices that add a sweet, savory, and smokey flavor to just about any protein. You can use it for grilling, or if you’re a functioning adult who owns a smoker, it’s great for that too.
Single-Origin Light Roast from Honduras From BLK&BOLD
BLK&BOLD coffee is really, really good. We could write an entire paragraph trying to convince you, but instead, we’ll just ask you to try their single-origin light roast from Honduras. It’s creamy, light-bodied, and just what you’d want to wake up to every morning. You should also know that they are the first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee brand and that five percent of their profits go towards supporting at-risk youth nationally.
“Africa’s Gift To The World” Sweatshirt From Red Bay Coffee
Red Bay is one of our favorite coffee shops in the Bay Area. Aside from their great tasting coffee, their online store is also selling this sweatshirt that reminds us all of coffee’s true origin.
Drinkware From Bloom & Plume
We highly recommend that you buy one or both of these items from Bloom and Plume because, (a) consuming liquids has never looked so good, and (b) owner Maurice Harris is one of our favorite people. Read more about this floral boutique and coffee shop in LA’s Historic Filipinotown, and where Maurice finds inspiration, joy, and great food in his city.
This Handcrafted Coffee Scoop From Ini Sips
Maybe you’ve reached a point in your life where using K-cups induces an unwarranted existential crisis because suddenly, you care about the environment. Or maybe you’ve resisted the Keurig craze all along because you love the planet too much. Either way, you’re a good person and you deserve this gorgeous coffee scoop from Ini Sips, a Black and veteran-owned coffee company based in Connecticut. It’s handmade and measures exactly two tablespoons so you know you’re getting a perfect cup of coffee every time.
Literally Any Of These Coffee Flavors From BrickHouse
Before you write off flavored coffee, consider these from BrickHouse Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co. They sustainably source their beans from small farms across South America before roasting and mixing them to order with sugar-free, natural flavors. You can get classics like French Vanilla and Hazelnut but their special blends like Spiked Eggnog or Grandma’s Bourbon Truffle are standouts too.
Cold Brew Pack From Circadian Coffee
Ah, cold brew. It’s one of those things that, for some reason, never feels attainable at home, and even when it is, it just doesn’t taste the same. But that can change with this very easy to use cold brew pack from Circadian Coffee, which lets you make a near-endless supply in just a few steps. No fancy equipment needed, just an airtight container, a refrigerator, and the patience of a toddler on Christmas eve.
Two Tone Stone Mug From Sip & Sonder
Inglewood, CA based Sip & Sonder was started by two women with a goal to honor Black culture and create a space for their community. It functions as a creative studio and a coffee house, where you’ll find delicious specialty coffees, teas, and merchandise, all of which are also available online. Our favorite is this minimalist two-toned mug because it’s aesthetically pleasing and holds just the right amount of coffee to get you going in the morning.
Manual Grinder From Black & White Roasters
If you insist on only buying whole beans, try this manual coffee grinder from Black & White Roasters. It’s both stunning and a great way to avoid waking up your roommate with a painfully loud electric coffee grinder. Plus, co-owner Lem Butler is an acclaimed barista with numerous national and international awards, so you could say he knows a thing or two about grinding coffee beans.
Donate to Go Fund Bean
Whether or not you decide to buy something from this guide (we certainly hope you do), you should definitely consider donating to GoFundBean. This is a nonprofit founded by Adam JacksonBey - a coffee industry leader and longtime advocate for BIPOC hourly professionals. They are currently raising funds to help baristas and hourly coffee industry workers who have been severely affected by the pandemic. You can support their cause by making a donation on their website or, through their Virtual Tip Jar program, you can send tips to cafes across the country.