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Compositions & Coffee Presents: "Creative Soul Digest"

What’s Brewing With You

Hey y’all I hope your day started with a delicious happy sensation... I know mine did! Let me know what you brewed up this morning in the comments and let’s chat faves.

So remember when we looked at the coffee’s of Africa and the Coffee ceremony? Well I was reflecting on this and wondered why coffee traditions aren’t as big in our communities. Coffee isn’t really a beverage consumed largely within black communities. We also don’t see many African Americans working in the coffee industry. Interesting right? Let’s look at why…

The Coffee Industry

Studies have found African Americans are less likely than all other ethnic groups in the US to choose coffee as their beverage of choice. Interestingly, coffee’s history can be found all around the diaspora. Ethiopia alone has been called the birth place of coffee. African enslavement was the original source of labor for coffee production in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the West Indies. Yet look around the industry….roasting, trade, retail, training, education, marketing you will see way too few African Americans. Strange how we are so loosely connected to a long-standing history in coffee and how we find ourselves underrepresented as consumers and professsionals. Here are the statistics for espresso based beverages and non-espresso based beverages, “a 2018 survey indicates 42% of African Americans drink beverages in this category, compared to 64% of hispanic Americans, 53% of Caucasian-Americans and 59% of Asian-Americans (” Why? The answer is misperception of the health effects of coffee and marketing. Producers of carbonated beverages and juices have been known to target their marketing towards African American communities. A study has shown that 60% of African Americans consume carbonated soft drinks once a week versus 51% of consumers overall. So instead we are taught through marketing and misconceptions that pop/soda and carbonated beverages are a healthier alternative than that of our motherland? Get this celebrity endorsements for carbonated beverages and fruit juices are even young black athletes or musicians while coffee endorsements come from middle-aged white men (ex: George Clooney and Nespresso). We are being played friends. We are underrepresented in an industry where we should have prominence and pride.

Now working in the industry from personal experience is tough as well. I remember when I was a supervisor at Starbucks and my assistant manager was a black man and he had been trying to get promoted for 5 years to manager. He was fantastic knew his stuff great with his employees and customers (honestly wayyyy better than our manager and district manager). However, he was always passed up for a promotion. Just like with everything we are often passed up for promotions and advancement but the coffee industry sees us purely for service and nothing else in a predominately white customer base. The speciality coffee prices even create a financial barrier where white households on average can afford a $6-$7 cup of coffee 5 times per week.

Let us not forget what happened in 2018 when two black men were arrested in Philidelphia at a Starbucks for simply just sitting down at a table for a business meeting. It was awful and since Starbucks has had to undergo training… to correct a deep rooted problem. Ya let us know how that goes.

Changing the Status Quo

The challenges we face in the coffee industry are not any different from those we face in all industries with the lack of representation, sense of belonging, and virtual invisiblity. It ultimately impacts the business as a whole but we can change that. The hope is that more of our people will continue to infiltrate the coffee industry and bring in more incredible talent with connections to our deeply rooted culture. We have to start by knowing the history and seeing the value in ourselves and in numbers. Buidling connections with our local partners and having more discussion and education about the industry will help us break away from the false stigma surrounding coffee. Let’s look at the facts:

· Coffee originated in Africa

· Africans and the diaspora contributes significantly to coffee production around the world

· African coffees are among the most appreciated

· According to research compiled by the National Coffee Association of USA, coffee has

significant health benefits in many areas including improved longevity cardiovascular

health, liver health, diabetes,cancer and stroke

· Developing connections and empathy with farmers to better understand a shared culture

and improve their livelihood and community is how we change the narrative

Presenting Just Right Home Brewing Tutorials

Well folks you know Eclectuals is all about changing the status quo and honing in on our peoples past, present, and building a new future. We are now offering homebrewing tutorials in order to create a strong black coffee community. We present everything coffee culture in effort to create coffee connoisseurs and start a movement where our people are at the forefront. We are hoping to redefine the coffee culture and restore it’s true nature which is based out of community building and establishing a true relationship between mother earth and our people. Check out Eclectives under Just Right Homebrewing Tutorials every month on Sunday morning to get a stamp on your coffee passport and become a certified barista.

Alright fam that’s what I have for you to conclude this months What’s Brewing With You for Black History Month. I hope it was inspiring and insightful. I look forward to hearing from you and spending a Sunday together for Just Right Homebew. Check out the recommendations below and as always…

--Be Free

Your family at Eclectuals

"Where we mind your mental diet!"

Support Black Business

Supporting Local Coffee Houses

Check out this list of local black owned coffee shops in the US…

Sip and Savor; Chicago, IL

Whittier Cafe; Denver, CO

Flowerboy Project; Venice, CA

South LA Cafe; Los Angeles, CA

Black Swan Espresso; Newark, NJ

Venture North; Minneapolis, MN

Urban Grind; ATL

Brooklyn Perk; Brooklyn, NY

Cafe Con Libros; Brooklyn, NY

Coffy Cafe; Washington DC

Tougo Coffee; Seattle, WA

Cynthia's Coffee Cup; Charlotte & Concord, NC

Backatown Coffee; New Orleans, LA

Deadstock Coffee; Portland, OR

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books; Philadelphia, PA

Shindig Juice & Coffee; Milwaukee, WI

Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar; St. Louis, MO

Groovin' Bean; Miami, FL

A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop; Phoenix, AZ

Narrow Way Cafe; Detroit, MI

Book Recommendations

Coffee Recommendations

From Southern Ethiopia a medium roast, slightly sweet and fruit-forward with deep rich, complex medium-body flavor

Ground or Whole Bean

We Are Someone You Should Know

--We are purveyors of literature, gourmet coffee, fashion, style and art." We believe in cooperative economics in the black community locally and nationally thereby promoting and/highlighting other black artisans and black owned businesses through our book subscription Eclectic Crates and our Artisan Market of goods and services.



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