Coffee beans.

Coffee Meets Community When Businesses Give Back

Does the phrase Central Perk mean anything to you? For more than 52 million viewers of the show “Friends,” the fictional coffee shop set in New York City was a center of gathering and friendship.

The National Coffee Association in New York reports that about 44% of the United States coffee demand comes from the millennial. In eight years through 2016, daily coffee consumption among 18 to 24-year-olds increased to 48% from 34% while increasing to 60% from 51% among those 25 to 39 years old. 

Coffee has moved from a habitual morning revival drink, to a way of life. Coffee connoisseurs are learning about roasting techniques and loving latte art. When one does not want to go home after their shift at work, or they want to get to know a friend, a cup of coffee awaits.

A cup of coffee.

Coffee roasters have also risen in recent years to become competitive businesses, rivaling beer and alcohol breweries. The rise of specialty coffee has given the industry a push towards high end coffee production. 

According to, the phrase “specialty coffee” emerged in the 1970s in an edition of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. Specialty coffee has rapidly grown comparable to alcohol production industries and their demand for high quality products.

Export of the popular arabica coffee beans increased from 68.97 million bags to 70.24 million bags last year. Around 150 million Americans drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced/cold coffees, and independent coffee shop sales equal $12 billion annually.

A cup of coffee.

Some are creating coffee businesses that give back. The Birmingham business Non-Fiction Coffee opened in 2015. Customers can tour the roastery and see roasting dates on each bag. The business owners said they decided to direct source coffee from specific regions and use the proceeds to improve communities.

“While Starbucks can be thanked for the gateway into the coffee industry blowing up, everything we source is specialty coffee, graded at an 80 or higher (out of 100),” their website reads. “Your coffee matters, and we hope to go as far as we can to help you know that. With each coffee bean our customers buy, their resources are going straight to countless meaningful and ethical non-profits.”

A cup of coffee.

Another non-profit coffee roaster, the Colorado-based Generous Coffee, said their profits help pay the operational expenses of other nonprofits and improve the lives of coffee farmers. 

“We have been able to go on the grounds of some of our coffee farms, and meet the farmers who harvest and grow our coffee,” the owners said via their website. “It is amazing to see the sustainability of it, that these farmers can now provide for their families through us purchasing coffee from them.”

Non-Fiction and Generous Coffee are only two examples of countless coffee companies giving back to their communities locally and worldwide.


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