Black History Month Post #1
Very few coffee drinkers connect their favorite brews to coffee growers of color across Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Southeast Asia. By the time it reaches their mugs, it's lost much of its identity and belongs more to the roastery or cafe that sold it. As a black owner/operator, I feel a responsibility to not only amplify their voices, but my also my own.
When I started Bright Land Coffee, I made a conscious decision to partner with growers that love coffee and are dedicated to making each harvest more flavorful, more sustainable, and more efficient than the one before. Whether its small co-ops in Jamaica that Peter and I visit several times a year, or farming groups like Gold Mountain Coffee Growers in Nicaragua, we choose partners that practice fair trade, fair pay, gender equality, sustainability, and community enrichment. And they care about every inch of soil, every rainfall, every plant. It shows in the quality of their beans and we can only hope to do it justice when we roast and brew.
I am constantly asked why it matters that Bright Land Coffee is a black-owned business. If the product is good, the people will come anyway... right?
Perhaps, but at the same time, representation matters. While it can be a challenge to get a foothold in an industry that is primarily non-BIPOC at the roasting, brewing, and distribution level, there is progress and, in the future, another young coffee lover may be inspired by our journey to start one of their own.
So, this month, we celebrate the origins of our coffees and the hands that make it possible, and all of the people that have supported us thus far.