I like my coffee how I like my men: hot, strong and BLACK!
In the early stages of quarantine, with most coffee shops closed down, many of us turned to brewing our own cup of joe at home to get our fix. Whether you went the quick and easy K-Cup route, or prefer to ground your beans from scratch, we can all agree that the perfect cup of coffee has the ability to turn around even the worst of workdays.
For many of us coffee lovers, a cup of morning coffee is a necessity for setting the tone for our day. So, why not switch up your usual at-home caffeine fix by placing your dollars into some dope Black-owned businesses? If you want to step away from the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts brand coffee to rise and grind for the real thing, order yourself some specialty coffees from one of these Black-owned coffee companies to keep you warm and toasty this fall.
10 Black-Owned Speciality Coffee Brands To Shop Online
BLK and Bold Specialty Beverages
Started by childhood best friends, Pernell Cezar and Jarrhod Johnson, BLK and Bold offers a variety of specialty coffee and tea blends with creative names such as Rise & GRND. The brand was the first Black-owned to be distributed nationally, now being sold nationwide at select Targets, Whole Foods Markets, and on Amazon. And if you needed any more reason to support these young men, the company pledges 5% of profits to local nonprofits, so your business will directly impact at-risk youth.
"If Dizzy, Basquiat, & Elijah McCoy roasted coffee, it would taste like Three Keys." That's the line you will find on the website of this Houston based craft coffee roastery founded by couple Tio and Kenzel Fallen. The name is inspired by the valves of the trumpet, and many of the blends have descriptions with connections to Jazz music. So, pour up a cup of one of their branded blends and vibe out to one of their playlists curated by renowned jazz musician, Jarritt Sheel.
Red Bay Coffee Roasters
Founded in 2014 by artist Keba Konte, Red Bay Coffee seeks to provide coffee that is both high-quality and sustainable. With roots in the Bay Area, this brand also strives to be inclusive in their hiring, including people of color, people with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, and others from groups traditionally left out of the specialty coffee industry. And don't forget to grab one of their signature merch items that reads "Coffee: Africa's Gift to the World. You're Welcome."
Beanfruit Coffee Co.
M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I. I think you get the point of where Beanfruit Coffee Company got its humble beginnings. Though founder Paul Bonds was not a huge fan of coffee for a while, introduction to specialty coffee led him to experimenting with different types of coffee and eventually roasting his own. On the website you will find Colombian, Ethiopian, and Sumatran blends that can be purchased whole bean or grounded.
Historic Noir Coffee Group
Historic Noir Coffee Group is an Atlanta-based coffee company started by ATL native Ricardo Richardson, who then brought on two of his childhood friends to bring the vision to light in an industry where Ricardo didn't see a lot of minority representation. Staying true to the city that made them, each blend is named after the respective neighborhood that they grew up in: Decatur, Fourth Ward, and West End.
2 Bros Coffee Co. of Dallas, Texas offers the freshest gourmet coffee by the pound or in convenient K-Cup packs. Another specialty of theirs is CBD-infused coffee that can be delivered right to your door.
Signature Blends by KF
2020 has come with a lot of surprises, and one of them was discovering that Kim Fields has her own brand of coffee. Yes, thee Kim Fields! Based out of Atlanta, Signature Blends by KF has been putting out quality coffee, teas, dry rubs, and other beverage-related products since 2017. So, order a bag of a medium roast, and get some sweet and savory dry rub for your steak while you're at it.
Dating back to 1999, BD Imports has strived to not only provide high quality coffee, but also champion women's empowerment and gender equality. They offer three blends of coffee beans, and both decaf and caffeinated coffee pods.
Dope Coffee is what you'll find at the intersection of premium coffee and black culture. Founder and CEO Mike Loyd aims to show that Black people and Black culture should be seen in every aspect of coffee culture. Along with coffee, the brand also sells coffee-infused syrup, body scrub, and beard and scalp syrup.
CariBBrew is a Black women-founded and -owned coffee company providing coffee beans straight from Haiti. Though natural catastrophes that impacted the island slowed down the company's production, they continue to work in partnership with small scale coffee farmers in Haiti to grow the best quality beans, while also creating long-term, sustainable jobs on the island.
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Robin D. Thomas is a brunch loving, Brooklyn born and raised Licensed Social Worker currently working in the Bronx. When she's not writing about all things wellness, entertainment and love, you can find her eating her way through different cities and tending to her plants. Connect with her on IG and Twitter at @_MissRobin or on her Instagram wellness page @thisnoirethat.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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