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Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses

47 Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses That are Great Alternatives to Starbucks

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Recently, a Philadelphia Starbucks employee called the police on two Black patrons. Their crime? Waiting for a friend. The cops still arrested them. When next you feel the need for some Starbucks, consider these Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses instead.

Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses

Uprising Muffin Company (Washington DC) offers homemade muffins, coffee, sandwiches & salads served in a relaxed setting with comfy seating.

Northwest Coffee Roasting Company (Clayton, MO) is an artisan coffee roaster that embodies the legacy of coffee by unifying communities, stimulating dialogue, and providing hand roasted and brewed full city coffee.

Teatopia (St Louis, MO)  offers 70 different teas as well as other small food items that will leave you amazed and wanting more.

My Cup of Tea (Memphis, TN) offers over 30 varieties of specialty tea from all over the world. They have a substantial customer base in retail, wholesale and in gift packaging.

TeaLee’s Tea House & Bookstore (Denver, CO) provides high quality loose leaf teas, food and specialty drinks, including beer and wine in an afro-centric atmosphere.

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books (Philadelphia, PA) is a cool coffee shop and bookstore that also hosts live events like book signings and movie screenings.

Ivy’s Tea Co. (Online) is a pop culture and Hip-Hop inspired holistic health brand. They provide handcrafted, locally sourced herbal tea that is made small batch by an herbalist and herb-infused honey for millennials.

Black Momma Teas (Online) offers gluten-free loose leaf tea selections, biodegradable tea bags and organic flavored agave.

Sip & Savor (Chicago, IL) offers the finest certified fair trade coffee from around the world, as well as a wide selection of teas, mochas, lattes and blended drinks. They also serve delicious pastries and small bites from local bakeries.

Black Swan Espresso (Newark, NJ) is Newark’s first Specialty Coffee and Tea Shop. They specialize in using the highest quality international coffee beans in all their roasts.

Crazy Coffee Co. (Lenexa, KS) offers a variety of drip coffee flavors suitable for any home coffee maker. They offer offer 6 flavored coffee selections per month, that changes every two months.

My Coffee Shop (Atlanta, GA) is a coffeehouse offering all-day breakfasts alongside sandwiches & baked goods in quirky surrounds.

Café ULU (Atlanta, GA) is unapologetically centered on  the culture of our people and more specifically, on the historical and current influence of coffee and the coffee trade.

Friday’s Coffee (Atlanta, GA) tantalizes your palate with some of the planet’s most unique and rare coffees.

Red Bay Coffee (Oakland, CA) is building a global community through our commitment to sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best and most beautiful coffee to the people.

Upper Cup Coffee Co. (Columbus, OH) offers house-roasted espressos & creative pours are the focus of this brick-walled cafe with sandwiches.

Dees Coffee (New Orleans, LA) is a comfy cafe dispensing a variety of coffees, loose-leaf teas & locally made pastries.

Wild Fig Books & Coffee (Lexington, KY) is your very own local/global, writer-owned, counter-gentrification bookstore.

Whittier Cafe (Denver, CO) is an artsy coffee shop with a lending library & a cozy patio serving espresso-based drinks & cafe fare.

Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses

Sankofa Video Books & Cafe (Washington, DC) is a relaxed coffeehouse offering light cafe bites plus African-focused books & film screenings.

Cuples Tea House (Baltimore, MD) is a family owned and operated tea business offering featuring premium loose leaf teas, tea accessories and culture in a socially connected atmosphere.

Turn (St. Louis, MO) is a café that uses locally sourced ingredients to create spins on American breakfast and lunch.

Kaffeine Coffee Internet & Office Cafe (Houston, TX) is a relaxed, funky cafe featuring coffee, sandwiches & baked goods, plus Wi-Fi & printing services.

Not So Urban Coffee & Roastery (Oxford, GA) is a small batch micro roaster specializing in responsibly, ethically & sustainably sourced coffee from Africa, South/Central America and Asia.

Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe (St Paul, MN) is a easygoing place with a warm vibe offering a variety of coffee blends named after your favorite jazz artists, bagels, cakes and many other delightful treats.

Currency Exchange Cafe (Chicago, IL) is a hip cafe with repurposed decor & a library, serving a mix of American, Mexican & Filipino food.

More Than Java Cafe’ (Laurel, MD) is a vibrant outpost featuring classic cafe dishes, espresso drinks & ice cream, plus live music nights.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse (Philadelphia, PA) is a is a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid that offers everything from comics, toys, games and figurines, to coffee & espresso related beverages, and baked goods.

Ain’t She Sweet Cafe (Chicago, IL) is a casual, cozy eatery offering counter-serve sandwiches, smoothies & house-baked desserts.

Cafe Dejena (Oakland, CA) is a local Eritrean café that offers dine in meals all day, grab & go for those on the run, and catering for small events.

Beyu Caffe (Durham, NC) is an upbeat, bohemian hangout offering coffee, all-day American fare, a full bar, live jazz & free WiFi.

Boon Boona Coffee (Seattle, WA) sources the finest coffee, from the birthplace of coffee, East Africa.

DC Conscious Cafe (Washington, DC) is “more than a cafe”. They offer good food, dialogue, entertainment, civic engagement and advocacy for the good of our community.

Serenity Tearoom (Frederick, MD) is on a mission to provide an elegant and professional Traditional Afternoon Tea, with tasty food, hospitable service and fond memories.

Serengeti Teas & Spices (New York, NY) introduces the history, magic, sumptuous taste and exotic flavors of Africa via signature coffees, teas, cocoas & spices.

The Terminal Cafe (Nashville, TN) is an unassuming coffee shop serving breakfast & lunch in a tiny, traveling-themed space.

Gullah Girl Tea (Online) offers delicious original healing tea blends, made by hand with love with a mission to promote healing and wellness.

Rise and Grind Café (Milwaukee, WI) offers hot and cold sandwiches, soups, breakfast items. They also offer catering and meal planning services.

Breukelen Coffee House (New York, NY) is a cozy coffeehouse providing brews & baked goods in a space that invites lingering.

Calabash Teahouse & Cafe (Washington, DC) is a popular teahouse ready to help you with foods & teas for dynamic living.

Urban Grind Coffee House (Atlanta, GA) is a hip coffeehouse with cafe menu & free WiFi holds film screenings, poetry slams & other arty events.

Grant Park Coffeehouse (Atlanta, GA) is a neighborhood coffeehouse serving light breakfast fare, sandwiches & pastries in chill, compact digs.

Just Add Honey Tea Company (Atlanta, GA) is a sophisticated twist on a southern tea tradition we offer thoughtfully blended loose leaf teas made in small batches to ensure the perfect cup cheers!

Tsion Cafe & Bakery (NY) is a petite, stylish cafe featuring contemporary Ethiopian cuisine in a warm space with patio seating.

Culture Coffee Too (Washington, DC) is a coffee shop, art gallery, live performance venue, and event space, with a mission to bring delicious coffee, and diverse culture to the Washington, DC community.

Village Tea Company (National Harbor, MD) sources high-quality, unique teas that are blended to create distinct flavor combinations which are packaged in a variety of creative and environmentally friendly ways for wholesale and retail sales.

TeaVolve Cafe & Lounge (Baltimore, MD) offers free WiFi, 30 varieties of loose leaf tea, espresso and coffee beverages using locally roasted beans, house-made sangria, and tasty eats.

 

Here’s a link to the video.

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG @thebusyafrican)

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222 Comments

  1. This is awesome!

    I had to laugh though, at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books being listed as in Pennsylvania, PA. 😛

    Sad not to see any Boston area businesses, but there’s a lot of country to cover. 🙂

  2. The Coffee Enthusiast “A Brewing Company” in Camden Co. NJ. (Event based specialty coffee roasters & online owned by Stephen & Natasha Zinnerman)
    Grind House Coffee in Ohio.(Brick and Mortar locations owned by Bill Miller Jr.)
    The Golden Cup Coffeehouse in Buffalo, NY.
    Deadstock Coffee in Portland, OR.

  3. Uncle Bobbie’s is in Philadelphia, PA. A great place in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia; an area with a storied black history tradition. We have been supporting it. Marc may need to expand sooner than he anticipated!! http://www.unclebobbies.com

  4. We have Blacc Vanilla here in Newburgh, NY which is Black Owned and an outstanding addition to our Hudson Valley Community.

  5. Urbean Joe Coffee Cafe’ in East Cleveland, Ohio is the 1st Independent Black owned Coffee brand and franchise in the United States. A 5 star quality commodity Urbean Joe Coffee Cafe’ with the slogan P.S.”Coffee With a Touch of Soul” and carries the tag line “Sip Soulful” will open May 2018 in East Cleveland, Ohio

  6. Great information. Thank you. I live in Columbus Ohio but did not know about Upper Cup on Parsons Ave. A coffee lover, I’m always on the lookout for a great cup of coffee wherever I go.

    • I just KNEW there had to be at least ONE in Detroit. Should be 100. Alicia George has been anchoring this community since 2010!

  7. Tea’s Me Cafe in Indianapolis, IN, which was started by a black family, then sold to retired WNBA star Tamika Catchings in 2017.

  8. Can we sustain the support of these Black-Owned businesses this time or will we stop and go back to starbucks when we forget why we’re pissed off 6 weeks from now? We must strategically spend and circulate our dollar with a purpose, not based off emotion.

  9. I’m surprised only one in NYC! Brooklyn is very diverse, but I didn’t see any shops mention on the list. What about Queens, Bronx, & Staten Island 😞

  10. Tiferet Coffee has three locations in Sacramento. Owned by sisters who are the best people you could ever know. I stopped going to Starbucks three years ago when they opened their first shop. I miss them when I’m out of town.

  11. What happened was atrocious, but no way that was company policy. Howard Schultz is pretty much on the side of the angels when it comes to social issues. He offered health and education benefits to employees well before any of his competitors. I’m sure he’s appalled at this. Remember that this is the company that the right-wing boycotts.

    You don’t have to like their coffee (I like some but not others), and patronizing local business is a fine thing to do, but let’s not demonize Starbucks as a whole because of a stupid and bigoted store manager.

    • Inclined to agree when and if appropriate action is taken against said store manager. I haven’t heard that they’ve done anything punitive to the store manager or admitted guilt yet and the initial story was refuted by customers. So currently, Starbucks is on the hook with me and needs to right their wrong.

    • Black isn’t a synonym for left wing so what does the right wing have to do with this?

      Third party or not, they represent the Starbucks brand. The same thing happened when Independent BP Stations wanted to distance themselves from BP with the disaster in the Gulf. I work for a third party retailer and not only do customer complaints go to our headquarters, they go their headquarters while customers only care about the brand.

      Oh yeah, apologies are the equivalent of folks saying that they were hacked. It may or may not be legitimate but the brand is the issue with this situation and not just the location. How many locations does this third party own? I don’t know or care. But it is bigger than just the singular person and location.

  12. I love what you’ve done with this story. But how do people find these places after the story controversy has subsided? Our startup, Spendwith, addresses the intersectionality of the culture and commerce by providing an app that empowers people to curate lists of products, services, and places all organized by culture. Also, it gives people the ability to discover culture connected brands online and offline.

    Check out the app at https://spendwith.in/dl

  13. Other African Owned Establishments in Minnesota – Twin Cities/Metro Area left off this list:

    Heritage Tea House
    360 University Ave W suite 103, St Paul, MN 55103.

    Lady Elegant’s Tea Room & Gift Shoppe
    2230 Carter Ave, St Paul, MN 55108

    Limu Coffee
    500 5th Ave NW # 109, New Brighton, MN 55112

    Breaking Bread Café & Catering
    1210 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55411

  14. Also looking for Florida options. I’m in Jacksonville, but frequent the central FL area. Will be getting Cuban coffee from Mambo’s for the time being which is local owned, not a chain and not non-Hispanic white owned which is the best I can do for now! Will also order online! Keep the list coming!

  15. I have additions:

    Gingered Peach in Lawrenceville, NJ (delicious bakery with coffee and tea too.

    Taking Tea in Style, in Princeton, NJ (tea party catering company, very popular locally and she also has a popular TV show on Princeton Community TV

    Coffees of Grace (online, owned by Grace Hightower De Niro, yes Robert De Niro wife. She sources the coffee directly from East Africa paying the women way more than other companies. She sponsored an event of mine in Harlem and she came with the Ugandan Ambassador to the U.N.)

    I’ve worked with all three companies. They should be on your list!

  16. I absolutely love this. We don’t have anything like this in Texas that I know of. I often think of opening up a coffee/ tea shop in my city just don’t how to get started. I even have the name already. Supporting my black brothers and sistas.

  17. Seattle only has one???? (Boon Boona, a roaster). Lots of indie coffee shops here in the land of Starbucks but only one black-owned?

  18. @BoogieDownGrind in the South Bronx is another – I’d say there are enough out there for an industry group to form up – if it hasn’t already – lmk. We are opening up in Chelsea this weekend too 🙂

  19. I LOVE More Than Java, but please also add Sweets and Treats Creamery Cafe in Laurel, MD (just up the block from MTJ) and Sidamo Coffee and Tea Company in Fulton, MD to your list. Thank you!

  20. Baltimore can represent more than just tea:
    Peace and a Cup of Joe – Baltimore, MD
    NuBohemia – Baltimore, MD
    Water for Chocolate – Baltimore, MD
    Etc

  21. Check out this Herbal Remedy brand called Leaves of magic started by a Canadian/Ghanaian woman. We produce herbal teas made of African medicinal herbs. Primarily moringa herbal teas and powder. Leavesofmagic.storefoundry.com| Available worldwide. Follow us on instagram and facebook @leavesofmagichc and leaves of magic health. Based in Accra, Ghana. Connected to Toronto, Canada.

  22. Makes me sad to see nothing in Dallas, Texas. I hope that changes soon.
    Marvelous list. Thank you for making this available. I expect it will expand exponentially in the coming years.

    • I was going to give a shout to Tougo. Great coffee and the owner is impossibly nice (and bilingual!). Now I will check out Cortona and Avole. Thanks for the tip(s)

  23. […] Therefore if Starbucks really wants to truly change lives, they need to not invest in ending discrimination within their coffee shops just, they need to invest in being advocates for closing discrimination in the us. If they will get us all to cover five bucks for espresso, this will be no big offer. Or they are able to just be just like the Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley and allow it blow over and obtain back again to business as typical. My children and I haven’t been back again to The Elmwood Cafe since. I fell in love with little dual shot, no whip, mochas at Starbucks, but if they don’t really make real lasting adjustments, I can have them many, many, a great many other places. […]

    • I believe thunderbird coffee in austin is black owned.
      Brian might be the owner’s name.

      Think he’s also opening a fried chicken place down on manor.
      Need i say more? 😛

  24. […] So if Starbucks wants to truly make a difference, then they need to not just commit to ending discrimination in their coffee shops, they need to commit to being advocates for ending discrimination in America. If they can get us all to pay five bucks for coffee, this should be no big deal. Or they can just be like The Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley and let it blow over and get back to business as usual. My family and I haven’t been back to The Elmwood Cafe since. I fell in love with small double shot, no whip, mochas at Starbucks, but if they don’t make real lasting changes, I can get them many, many, many other places. […]

  25. […] So if Starbucks wants to truly make a difference, then they need to not just commit to ending discrimination in their coffee shops, they need to commit to being advocates for ending discrimination in America. If they can get us all to pay five bucks for coffee, this should be no big deal. Or they can just be like The Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley and let it blow over and get back to business as usual. My family and I haven’t been back to The Elmwood Cafe since. I fell in love with small double shot, no whip, mochas at Starbucks, but if they don’t make real lasting changes, I can get them many, many, many other places. […]

  26. Almost all of the brick and Mortar Coffeshops / Cafes listed have been added to the Bobspotter (Black Owned Business Spotter) mobile app which you can download of free in all app stores!

  27. Tea’s Me Cafe In Indianapolis, IN. Tea, coffee, breakfast, & lunch shop owned by former WNBA star Tamika Catchings. She is doing wonderful things for our neighborhood!

  28. Miller Beach in Gary, IN is a great community with black-owned businesses, including coffeehouses, yoga studios, and vintage shops.

  29. Thank you for that article. It’s a long overdue exposure to the number of people of color, investing back into our communities by way of coffee culture.

    We are Bushwick Grind #bushwickgrind on social and http://www.bushwickgrind.com.

    Ironically the hyper local news has been the brand new Starbucks that just opened 2 blocks from us. We have gotten so many concerned comments from our amazingly loyal guests (see their comments on Yelp and Google) that they pray the presence of that coffee mega giant does not impact our business.

    It would have been great to make your list and proudly post in our cafe ;-)! Fortunately, I know they are now many to select from which is a great problem to have. I just wanted to introduce ourselves to be a publication. I’ll also start subscribing today, have a great day!

  30. My cousin owns “Back to the grind” coffee on University Have and Orange st in Riverside Ca. Over 20 years in business. art gallery, live music, library, computers, WiFi, food, and atmosphere! Great place! Oh yea, we are BLACK OWNED.

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