DYK? A banyan is a type of ficus tree native to Florida, India, the Carribean and elsewhere. When you think of Tomb Raider or Baton Rouge, you probably picture these twisted-trunk trees with vines hanging from the branches and historically spiritual roots (see what I did there).
With symbolic Floridian pride, Josh and Abbey Schmitt of Bradenton, FL decided to name their coffee venture after the iconic tree, and in 2018, Banyan Coffee was born.
“Banyan trees grow so unique and are considered one of, if not the largest, trees in terms of coverage,” said the husband/wife founder duo. “I guess it's how we wanted our business model to be -- we wanted to offer something unique in Bradenton.”
Josh and Abbey had been roasting for their own personal coffee needs for almost a decade before deciding to make a living from it!” We started in our garage with a single popcorn popper and eventually ended up with about 20 in our garage. We began sharing our coffee with others and then it took off and... we realized that roasting out of several popcorn poppers wasn't going to meet demand.”
They emphasize freshness as key to their methodology. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their adorable mobile coffee cart! Locals can rent it out for parties/weddings/corporate events, etc. and it’s part of how they deliver the freshest-roasted coffee in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
Banyan was kind enough to gift me a variety of coffees to taste and review, and it’s a good thing, because I had to pace myself to keep from binging …
Abra means “open,” and Abra Coffee means “delicious.”
The founder and co-owner Paula runs Abra Coffee with her husband in Miami. Coffee runs in Paula’s blood, as she’s a 3rd generation roaster and spent years managing her family’s coffee farm in Brazil. Abra was founded in 2018 with a mission to serve as the gateway into the world of better coffee for their customers. She reached out to me for a review and was kind enough to send a couple samples of coffee and they did not disappoint! One Ethiopian Guji and one Columbian Cauca -- both categorized as medium but I think all signs point to light roasts.
Similar to past subscription-based coffee company reviews, I can only comment on the particular coffees, delivery, presentation, etc., not the subscription experience...
“Go on a coffee Safari.”
That’s the tagline for Black-owned subscription-based African Coffee Club (ACC).
The founder was kind enough to reach out to me for a review and gifted me a bag of their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which is just one of their three Ethiopian coffees available.
ACC was founded in January 2019 out of Los Angeles by Kenya-native Mukurima Muriuki. Why did Mukurima launch ACC? Simple answer: To keep the coffee flowing. He understands the importance of a never-ending supply of high-quality coffee, and he has family members in the coffee industry back home!
Since I’m only getting a portion of the ACC experience (one-time delivery/one bag of coffee), I won’t be grading the subscription-aspect of the brand. I can only speak to this specific coffee (and note that the founder is extremely nice and attentive to his business)...
SoCal coffee roaster Avatar Coffees was generous enough to reach out and send me some coffee, so I thought I’d review my unique experience with it.
I’ll be honest, Avatar: The Last Airbender was one of my favorite shows as a kid (who am I kidding -- it’s still a favorite), so I was partial to the name alone when we first started talking.
For a little background, Avatar was founded two years ago in Montclair, CA but they only started selling about six months ago. They operate with a charitable mission in mind, so you can feel good when you buy their products: For every bag of coffee sold, Avatar gives $1 to Charity on Wheels, a homeless outreach nonprofit. (...)
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