7 Initiatives That Are Using Coffee for Good [LIST]

The popular morning beverage is a vehicle for positive change

Sep 10, 2014

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A whopping 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world each day, making the caffeinated drink one of the most widely-guzzled beverages. The tasty brew became globally known in the 16th century when it traveled from Africa to Europe, and since then folks have been hooked on its hearty taste and perky benefits. As the industry has boomed, so too has the desire to insert a bit of good doing into the popular morning drink. These seven initiatives are taking the standard cup of joe to the next level.

1. TOMS COFFEE

Most folks are familiar with TOMS shoes and eyewear. But the global brand known for its successful One for One model is also using coffee to provide the gift of water.
JAVA GOODNESS: For every bag of coffee purchased ,TOMS gives one week of clean water to a person without regular access in Rwanda, Honduras, Peru, Guatemala and Malawi.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM: The beans used for their six unique coffee varieties are fairly sourced from the recipient countries through direct trade efforts.  
DRINK ON: Buy online or subscribe toTom’s Roasting Club to receive a monthly selection of whole beans which will provide clean water to those in need all year long.

Screenshot of TOMS Coffee

2. ASPIRE COFFEEWORKS

The Chicago-based company sells coffee that directly benefits children and adults with disabilities.
JAVA GOODNESS: Metropolis Coffee Company and the nonprofit Aspire have joined forces to create Aspire CoffeeWorks which donates 100% of their net proceeds to Aspire programming serving the youth and adult special needs community.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM: The fair trade and organically certified beans are craft-roasted by coffee experts.
DRINK ON: The good doing coffee can be purchased online and is sold in retail stores in the Chicagoland area.

Screenshot of Aspire CoffeeWorks

3. WHEELY’S CAFÉ

A full service solar-powered mobile café on bike.
JAVA GOODNESS: The Scandinavian initiative offers young people the chance to own and run their very own sustainable coffee shop as part of a friendly global franchise.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM: Wheely’s dark roast handmade coffee is 100% organic and fair-trade.
DRINK ON: Wheely’s are rolling into major cities in the United States, South America and Europe as entrepreneurs are purchasing their very own eco-friendly coffee house on wheels.

Screenshot of Wheely's Café 

4. LAUGHING MAN

Hollywood talent Hugh Jackman is one of the founders of the philanthropic food business that specializes in coffee, tea and chocolate produced by local farmers.
JAVA GOODNESS: The giggly brand reaches out to entrepreneurs in developing countries providing fair wages. One hundred percent of the Laughing Man Worldwide revenue goes to invest in education, community development and new local producers.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM:  The fair trade coffee hails from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea.
DRINK ON: You can get your coffee fix by purchasing online or visiting the two Laughing Man Coffee & Tea venues in New York City.

Screenshot of Laughing Man

5. THREE AVOCADOS

A social enterprise that generates funds for clean water projects in Uganda by selling coffee.
JAVA GOODNESS: 100% of Three Avocado’s profits go to providing access to potable water.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM: Three Avocados source their fair trade and organically grown coffee from Uganda's Mt. Elgon by collaborating with small coffee growing cooperatives.
DRINK ON: Coffee is sold online and in select locations.

Screenshot of Three Avocados

6. MARLEY COFFEE

Rohan Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley, is fulfilling his late father’s dream of going back to their farming roots by producing gourmet coffee.
JAVA GOODNESS: The company created and supports Kicks For Cause, a youth soccer program that aims to empower kids through the combination of education and sport.
WHERE DO THOSE BEANS COME FROM: All coffee is sustainably-grown, ethically-farmed and artisan-roasted in Ethiopia, Central and South America and Jamaica.
DRINK ON: Marley Coffee is sold in the United States and Canada at major supermarkets and can be found online.

Screenshot of Marley Coffee

7. LAND OF A THOUSAND HILLS COFFEE COMPANY

In 2005 Jonathan Golden created Land Of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company as a way to help the post-war torn the region of Rwanda.
JAVA GOODNESS: The coffee company stands by their Collaborative Trade philosophy which pays fair wages to local farmers. They also help partner communities heal from the traumas of Rwanda’s recent past  by giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives through producing coffee beans.
WHERE DO THE BEANS COME FROM: Local Rwandan farmers are responsible for delicious variety of specialty coffees.
DRINK ON: Their gourmet coffee is sold in select cafes in the US and can be found online.

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