These cups will give you a boost—and lift your spirits.
Last month, the National Coffee Association reported that 64 percent of American adults enjoy the buzzy beverage every day, the largest number in six years. That’s welcome news, and not only because java is one of the top sources of health-boosting antioxidants in our diets. Now, your daily brew can help others, too.
“Coffee has always had a very social reputation,” says Frank Raffaele, founder of Coffeed, a chain of New York cafes that donate a portion of their profits to local charities. “It’s a way of bonding and being part of a community, which is why it’s such a good platform for giving back to that community.”
Here are six coffee brands that do just that—and, bonus, they also taste great—so your next cup can make you feel warm and tingly. Many offer coffee subscriptions that renew automatically so you can keep giving—and getting.
Each of this New York chain’s dozen brick-and-mortar cafes has partnered with a different local charity, from City Growers (a nonprofit that focuses on “urban agriculture”) to the Samuel Waxman Cancer Foundation. When you order the single-origin, sustainably sourced, fair-trade beans online, the company will donate three percent of the purchase price to the cause you select from their website's pull-down menu.
Grounds & Hounds
Java-fueled morning walks with his adopted dalmatian, Molly (whose likeness appears on every houndstooth-checked bag of beans) inspired company founder Jordan Karcher to combine his two passions. For every bag of fair-trade, organic-certified beans—blends include “Paper & Slippers” and “Morning Walk”—you order, 20 percent of the proceeds will go to a rescue or shelter near your zip code.
Fire Department Coffee
Who knows coffee better than a first responder? Since Luke Schneider, a firefighter paramedic and Navy veteran, roasted his first beans two years ago, sales of his coffee have raised more than $20,000 through various charitable campaigns, including one to fund a Wisconsin burn camp and another to provide a wounded veteran with a new vehicle. You can’t go wrong with any of their beans, which are sourced from socially and environmentally responsible farms, but the bourbon-infused coffee is not to be missed.
Odds are, you don’t think twice about the water you’re pouring over those coffee grounds, but in developing countries like Ugunda, where this 100% Arabica coffee is one of the top exports, access to clean drinking water is a constant struggle. This nonprofit devotes all its proceeds to remedying that.
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Blue State Coffee
Despite its name, this 11-year-old New England chain’s brews are non-partisan, but the system they use for divvying up their donations is as democratic as it gets. With every cup they buy, customers at the brick-and-mortar stores vote for which of four charities they’d like the money to go to and the money is allocated accordingly. Rotating through local charities has allowed Blue State Coffee to fund more than 250 local non-profits to the tune of $800,000. Right now, online sales support the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Birds & Beans
Traditional coffee farming has destroyed the habitats of many migratory songbirds, contributing to their drastic decline in recent years. So a group of bird lovers got together to source a more environmentally sound solution. The resulting shade-grown organic coffee has earned the Smithsonian Bird Friendly certification, and helped preserve over 100,000 acres of land birds use during migration, and kept thousands of family farms in Latin America afloat.