Browse Tag


2 mins read

This Black Owned Herbal Tea Brand Is Promoting Wellness, One Cup at a Time

Zabico Life is a Black owned herbal tea brand created by Gladstone Etienne, a millennial master herbalist and recognized herbal tea connoisseur.

After observing the positive effects his herbal tisanes and herbal detoxes had on his family and friends, Gladstone made the decision to let as many people as possible enjoy their health advantages.

We caught up with him to learn more about his business.

Black Owned Herbal Tea Brand

What inspired you to start your business?

My inspiration for starting an herbal tea business came from my roots and upbringing, and my knowledge of herbalism. I am further inspired by the amazing benefits of herbs, the testimonials I have received from using herbal remedies, and my passion for bringing awareness to the people. Also, my love for God and what he has created for our collective health and healing.

Black Owned Herbal Tea Brand

What differentiates your products from others?

Our ability to combine a broad spectrum of herbal remedies into great tasting products that improve health without the compromise of sugar, additives, or preservatives.

What is your favorite aspect of entrepreneurship?

My favorite aspects of being an entrepreneur are innovation, independence, and the ability to influence and impact lives.

What are the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur?

My biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is access to capital, the right mix of capital, and continuous strategy retooling to remain relevant and competitive in an ever-changing business world.

What are your future goals for your brand?

The future goals of ZABICOLife are to become the premier go-to brand for herbal teas and to become a brand leader in beauty, skincare, and cosmetics. Also, a future goal is to impact our community through social activism on the importance of incorporating herbalism into our daily regimen.

4 mins read

Climate Change and Its Effect on the Coffee Industry

With more than 2.25 billion cups consumed every day, coffee has gone beyond the position of merely a beverage and now plays a significant cultural role. Around 120 million people depend on coffee for their livelihoods worldwide.

Climate change, however, has just sparked a perfect storm that endangers the well-being of millions of coffee farmers and their families. Furthermore, according to scientists, there will be longer and more intense rainy and dry spells, which will make farming more difficult. The cost of buying and growing decent coffee will rise as temperatures rise and droughts get worse.

The pattern is obvious. According to scientists on climate change, the average global temperature will climb by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees celsius this century. And if we don’t take swift action, it might be too late. Read on to know how climate change is likely to affect the coffee industry in the years to come.

Impact of Climate Change on the Coffee Industry

1. Coffee’s Flavour Can be Affected by Water, Stress, Temperature, and Light Exposure

In order for coffee trees to develop and prosper as well as for their beans to have the flavors and aromas that many coffee lovers adore, an ideal mix of growing conditions is required. Researchers concluded that variables including altitude and light exposure had an impact on coffee quality in a 2021 study that looked at how shifting climates will adversely alter the coffee flavor.

2. Less Land to Grow Coffee by 2050

It is anticipated that coffee-growing regions will move out of the tropics. By 2050, the total area of land suitable for growing coffee is expected to shrink overall, according to a new study. The best regions for growing coffee are expected to shrink in size and suitability in four of the top five coffee-producing countries in the world, namely Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia.

3. New Regions Are Likely to Emerge

Some nations, namely those outside of the tropics, might experience an improvement in adaptability and new business potential with the plant.

Ethiopia, the plant’s native land, is the fifth largest producer, and it is anticipated that its suitability for growing coffee will mostly remain unchanged. According to studies, there will probably be an increase in the suitability of some countries—such as the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, and China—for coffee growing.

4. The Quality of Single-Origin Coffee Will Potentially Deteriorate

The quality of single-origin coffee coming from arabica beans, which are prized for their rich and evocative scents and flavors, relies largely on the particulars of their growing environment and a particular set of conditions. The regions that produce high-quality, single-origin coffees decline together with the general shrinkage of acceptable coffee-growing lands.

The Bottom Line

There are a number of other irreversible effects of climate change, and coffee’s future is still in the hands of a population that keeps spewing greenhouse gases into the skies. But other organizations have been researching hybrid coffee varietals in an effort to make coffee plants more resilient to harsh environmental conditions—while maintaining flavor and other desired traits.

Red Bay Coffee sources its coffee directly from nations that have the specialized climate and elevation conditions needed to produce premium specialty coffees. Their coffee beans are lovingly roasted to provide morning brews that are sure to make your day better. Contact them for all your coffee inquiries today.

4 mins read

A Breakdown of Coffee Ingredients from Guatemala, Burundi, and Brazil

We all know that coffee can come in various flavors (here’s looking at you french vanilla coffee), and the beans can come from different countries.

You may know that Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. But do you know what makes Brazilian coffee different from Colombian coffee?

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on three coffee beans: Guatemala, Burundi, and Brazil.

The Capital of Guatemala is “G”

Actually, it’s not. It’s Ciudad de Guatemala—but I bet I confused your brain enough to entice you to keep reading now. While I’m positive you’ve heard of Guatemalan coffee, do you know what makes it different from others?

Guatemalan coffee typically has a full-body flavor aided by hints of chocolatey cocoa and a sweetness akin to toffee. Depending on the growing region means that there will be slight changes to the taste of the coffee.

Coffee from Guatemala comes from one of seven regions: Fraijanes Plateau, Antigua, Highland Huehuetenango, Rainforest Coban, Volcan San Marcos, Nuevo Oriente, and Atitlan.

Each one of these coffees will have distinguishing characteristics in its flavor profile. Antigua coffee (one of the most popular kinds of Guatemala coffee) has a complex flavor profile while having hints of cocoa.

Highland Huehuetenango coffee tends to have a fruit-forward flavor, a floral aroma, and a sweet taste that stays on the palate.

Despite the fact you may be buying “Guatemalan coffee,” you have quite a choice in what you want to be drinking. We recommend our Carver’s Dream if you’re going to sip on some Guatemalan coffee.

Kenya Find Me A Burundi Pun?coffee



If you’re looking for a coffee that will have hints of fruit flavors, then this is the one for you. Burundi is often described as having a delicate berry flavor, rich body, and a floral smell with hints of pineapple, blueberry, or citrus.

While Burundi coffee isn’t one of the leading powerhouses of coffee, it offers a delightful and delicate taste. Much like other coffees, Burundi coffee has different growing regions. The central areas are Buyenzi, Kayanza, Ngozi, and Muyinga.

If you’re looking for a delicious Burundi coffee, you can always try Motherland coffee!

Brazilian Coffee is Extraordinary


We’ve already established that Brazil is the coffee kingpin. Most of the Brazilian coffee that you’ll find is Bourbon Santos; the name is due to the coffee being shipped out of the port of Santos. Coffee from Brazil is known to have a nutty flavor with a hint of chocolate.

Brazil also exports roughly 90% of the world’s espresso beans! All of those lovely macchiatos you’re buying most likely have Brazilian espresso beans in them!

Are you intrigued by Brazilian coffee? Don’t worry; if so, try the Brazilian Cake Lady blend.

Red Bay Coffee, strives to create beautiful coffee, fair relationships, and delicious living experiences every single day. Contact them at 510-399-2441 or email at

4 mins read

Wondering How to Brew Delicious Coffee Without a Coffee Maker?

Minimalism, tidying up, tiny houses, capsule wardrobes—taking a less-is-more approach to daily living has become a part of modern culture. However, the same can’t always be said for the culture of caffeine.

Perhaps you embrace the minimalist movement, travel frequently, camp often, or maybe, you’ve recently discovered a broken coffee maker. Whatever the reason, in this article, we’ll show you 3 easy ways to brew amazing coffee without a coffee maker.

3 Ways to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

The Stovetop Method

What you’ll need: Coffee (coarsely ground, 1 to 2 tablespoons per cup), water (8 or more ounces per cup), a pinch of salt, and a pot or saucepan.

Remember: You’ll need 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee for each 8-ounce cup. Stick to this ratio if you want to brew more coffee. Since water evaporates when it boils, add a bit more water than you think you’ll need.

  1. In a pot, heat the water and salt over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge.
  2. Stir the coffee and water together to ensure the grounds won’t clump together.
  3. Boil the mixture uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir occasionally, so the grounds won’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. After the coffee has boiled for a few minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it steep for about five minutes, allowing the grounds to settle to the bottom.
  5. Use a ladle or pour the coffee into a cup gently to let the grounds stay in the pot. A few grounds will likely end up in your cup, so you might not want to finish that last sip.

The Faux French Press Method

Coffee Maker

What you’ll need: Coffee grounds (preferably coarse-ground), hot water, a tablespoon, a deep bowl, and a mug.

  1. Pour one tablespoon of coffee grounds per cup into your bowl.
  2. Fill the grounds with boiling water, allowing it to completely saturate them.
  3. Add enough hot water to cover the servings in your bowl. Let it sit for four minutes.
  4. Once the grounds have settled, gently press them to the bottom of the bowl with your tablespoon.
  5. Pour the coffee slowly into your mug, using the spoon to keep the grounds in the bottom of the bowl, so they don’t fall into your mug.

The Coffee Bag Method

Coffee Maker

What you’ll need: Ground coffee, hot water, coffee filter, string (just make sure it’s not waxy), and a mug.

  1. Measure out a single serving of coffee grounds and pour it into the filter.
  2. Make a small pouch by closing the filter tightly and tying it with a length of string, leaving one long end hanging outside your cup just like a teabag.
  3. Heat water with any method you have at your disposal, such as a kettle, pot, or even a cup in the microwave.
  4. Put the coffee bag you created into an empty mug.
  5. Make sure you do not overfill your cup with hot water as you pour it over the coffee bag.
  6. The coffee should steep for about four minutes. You may adjust the time depending on how strong or weak you want your brew.
  7. Be sure to discard the filter before drinking.

Red Bay Coffee strives to create beautiful coffee, fair relationships, and delicious living experiences every single day. If you have questions about their products, contact them at 510-399-2441 or email Visit their website for wholesale and other inquiries.

3 mins read

Red Bay Coffee Celebrates Almost a Decade in Business

Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with deep roots in the specialty coffee and hospitality industry, founded Red Bay Coffee Roasters in 2014.

red bay coffee
Keba Konte (center) Humble but magical beginnings 8 years ago (Source: Red Bay Coffee)

The idea came from his time as a San Francisco artist’s collective that opened Guerilla Cafe in Northern Berkeley. They held art shows and were the first to serve Blue Bottle Coffee. At the time, Konte was a novice when it came to coffee.

He soon grew uncomfortable with the colonial undertones of the specialty coffee industry after opening Chasing Lions. He began noticing that the farmers, primarily people of color, did the majority of the labor yet received minuscule pay, while young, white hipsters owned the roasters and coffee shops.

So, he left the collective and built a “garden room” off his garage in Oakland and taught himself how to roast coffee beans with YouTube videos. A year and a half later, in early 2014, he founded Red Bay Coffee.

red bay coffee

From there, Konte’s vision became the forefront of the fourth wave of coffee—a firm commitment to ensuring coffee production is not only high quality and sustainable but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.

Since then, Red Bay Coffee has been hiring and serving people from all backgrounds, striving to be inclusive and diverse of those traditionally left out of the specialty coffee industry, particularly people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, women, and individuals with disabilities.

Red Bay Coffee Headquarters (Oakland, CA )

Their commitment to underserved communities has allowed people to find a home in Red Bay Coffee. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the coffee shop was able to stay alive through “Buy Local” and “Buy Black” initiatives.

It shows that the company is much bigger than the coffee it serves. It is a sober environment where people can gather, exchange ideas, and connect with the community.

8th Anniversary Special Blend

red bay coffee

How are they celebrating this incredible milestone? By offering a Limited Release Special Edition Bag of Anniversary Special coffee designed especially for their anniversary. This bag is only available until the end of February.

This roast blends fruits-forward Guatemalan and Burundi coffees to deliver a bright, fruity cup with a rich, warm body and chocolate-cherry notes.

To learn more about Red Bay Coffee, visit their website.

1 min read

Actress Kim Fields Has A New Role, Owner of a Coffee Distribution Company

Actress and director, Kim Fields, is best known for her roles as Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey on “The Facts of Life”, and as Regine Hunter on “Living Single”.

These days, she is also known as the founder of Signature Blends By Kim Fields, a national coffee roaster and coffee distribution company based in Atlanta, GA.

Signature Blends By Kim Fields

We caught up with her to find out more about her life as an entrepreneur.

In the interview, we asked her:

  • What inspired her to get into the coffee business?
  • What is the most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur? What is the most challenging?
  • What does she feel would help take her business to the next level?
  • Who are some other celebrity entrepreneurs that inspire her and why?
  • What advice does she have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel!

Tony O. Lawson

Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Twitter

 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

7 mins read

Meet The Man Who Has Launched Three Successful Coffee Businesses

Russell Wiggins is the owner of Russell’s Gourmet Coffee, an Atlanta, GA based coffee and beverage service and distribution company.

Russell has launched multiple brands for others under his company. We caught up with him to find out more about his business model and how things are going during this recent wave of support for Black-owned businesses.

Russell Wiggins

What inspired you to start your coffee business?

I was inspired to get in the coffee industry after learning about corporate and federal contracting while working at Xerox Corp. and noticing that coffee was that one consistent commodity being consumed in every office I visited.

I also realized there were no Black-owned coffee companies going after beverage service contracts. We were mostly in technology, janitorial, or security. So I teamed up with a couple of my business friends to start a coffee company in San Francisco, California to compete for corporate and federal contracts.

This led me to learn so much more about the coffee industry, the beans, and the business. As a result, I became fascinated with the entire industry and I was hooked after that.

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee

What sets your coffee apart from others on the market?

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee is a whole lifestyle brand for true coffee enthusiasts, as well as the novice. We offer gourmet coffee beans roasted to perfection, and all of our coffee is roasted to order for the freshest, most robust taste. We have a roasting profile that leaves our beans full of flavor with a smooth taste.

We combine top-quality Arabica beans with our secret roasting profile to unlock the sweet flavors specific to each bean.

Our beans are cultivated using environmentally sustainable methods without chemicals and additives to make every cup great for you and the environment.

Then, Russell’s Gourmet Coffee is packaged and labeled to your specs and delivered to your desired location. We take pride in making sure that quality is at the core of everything we do.

How did you get involved with Kim Fields and Peter Thomas to start their coffee businesses?

Peter and I became friends when I moved to Atlanta nine years ago from San Francisco. We met at an industry party and became fast friends.

Once he found out I was in the coffee industry, I approached him about a private label under his name for a Jamaican rum flavored coffee.

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee
Peter Thomas, left, with Cynthia Bailey and Russell Wiggins
It was a great partnership that landed the coffee on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I was introduced to Kim Fields and her husband Chris Morgan while in Jamaica filming for RHOA. Chris and I just clicked and have become the best of friends.
Russell’s Gourmet Coffee
Kim loves coffee and was interested in establishing her own private label,  Signature blends by Kim Fields, under the Russell Gourmet Coffee umbrella.
Now, Kim and I have been partners for about 3 years. Kim and Chris always dreamed of owning a coffee shop and I was already in the business so it was a partnership destined to happen.

What has the response been since we included you on our list of coffee brands?

I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the amazing support we have received as a result of the Black Lives Matter protests. In fact, our site crashed for nearly an hour after Starbucks denied their employees from wearing any BLM paraphernalia in their stores.

People were outraged and looking for another alternative. That was Russell’s Gourmet Coffee. Being added to your Black-owned coffee lists has been absolutely phenomenal. Media exposure has been a huge help for the brand as well.

It helped to introduce the brand to a lot of new people and coffee drinkers.  So to be added to your platform was a blessing. We are looking to expand our volume sales.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Ultimately, I want to see this company grow to a supernova level. Over the next 5 years, we plan to expand our volume sales by getting into grocery stores and more corporate environments.

I would also like to become a resource for other Black people who want to get into the coffee industry.I currently work in local Atlanta schools educating kids about entrepreneurship through coffee bean cultivation, roasting profiles, and the history of the commodity.

I also teach the kids how to sell iced coffee for school fundraisers. Russell’s Gourmet Coffee can be a catalyst for change in the way Black people think about entrepreneurship and socio-economics.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

The advice I would give to future entrepreneurs would be to believe in yourself more than anybody else ever will. People won’t remember the days when you are hungry or the days when you’ve lost all your money and had to start over again and again.

But if you keep the faith and believe in your talents, you will be successful. It is always important to remember success is not always measured by the amount of money in your bank account, but by the number of people whose lives you have positively impacted on your journey.

Tony O. Lawson

Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter

 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

1 min read

Black Owned Tea Brands You Can Purchase Online

People all over the world have been drinking tea for thousands of centuries, and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may fight off inflammation, boost your immune system, and even ward off cancer and heart disease.

While some brews provide more health benefits than others, there’s plenty of evidence that drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.

If you can’t visit your local cafe for your tea of choice, don’t worry, these Black owned tea brands will deliver herbal goodness right to your doorstep.

Black Owned Tea Brands

Adjourn Tea House

Brooklyn Tea

Ivy’s Tea Co. 

Sip Tea Shop 

black owned tea

Hands of Sage

black owned tea

Teas With Meaning

black owned tea

Bea’s Wellness Teas

True Serenity Tea

Black Owned Tea

Jayida Ché

Kim Bees

black owned tea

Orange Street Storehouse

black owned tea

INI Sips

black owned tea

Just Add Honey

black owned tea

Steep & Sip Teas

black owned tea

Teas Please

black owned tea

Elle’s Elixirs

black owned tea

Lady Rose Specialty Teas 

BrickHouse Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co.

black owned tea


black owned tea

MoreFya Herbal Tea and Smoke Blends

Cup of Té

The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop

Drink Our Hi-G

Just Be Tea

Deeply Rooted

Flora’s Tea Company

Tranquilo Teas


Oat Straw Tea Company

Angry Black Tea


-Tony O. Lawson

Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter

 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

1 min read

Black Owned Coffee Brands You Can Purchase Online

Last year, we created a viral post about Black owned Alternatives to Starbucks. Unfortunately since then, some of the businesses we listed have gone out of business or are closed temporarily due to the COVID related shutdown.

However, coffee lovers are still in luck since there are several Black owned coffee brands that you can purchase from online and enjoy at home!

Black Owned Coffee Brands

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee

black owned coffee

Signature Blends By Kim Fields 

black owned coffee

Peter’s Brew Coffee 

Blk & Bold

black owned coffee

2 Bros Coffee Co.

Boon Boona Coffee

black owned coffee

Sailor’s Brew Coffee

black owned coffee

Dope Coffee 

black owned coffee

Not So Urban Coffee & Roastery 

black owned coffee

Northwest Coffee Roasting Company

INI Sips

black owned coffee

BrickHouse Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co.

Historic Noir Coffee

black owned coffee

L A Grind Coffee & Tea Bar

Calvine’s Coffee

Kahawa 1893

MochaBox Coffee Company

Happy Beans Roaster

Bad Beans Coffee Co.

Red Bay Coffee

black owned coffee


-Tony O. Lawson


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter

 Get your SHOPPE BLACK Apparel!

6 mins read

Black Owned Coffee Business Sees 350% Increase In Online Sales

With so many people forced to stay at home because of the pandemic, Red Bay Coffee, a Black owned coffee business with six retail outlets and a roasting plant, is seeing a huge spike in e-commerce coffee sales.

In fact, Keba Konte, the owner and founder of Red Bay Coffee, located in Oakland, California, said e-commerce sales have spiked a whopping 350% (not a typo). Previously, that was the smallest segment of its various revenue streams.

black owned coffee
Keba Konte

The spike stems from the fact that much of its Silicon Valley audience is now drinking coffee at home and having their coffee beans shipped directly to them.

“Then there’s another group who were drinking our coffee at our cafés, and we had to close most of them,” Konte added. They too have turned to having their coffee beans shipped.

Its six cafes normally generate about 35% of its overall revenue, but that has dipped considerably. Moreover, grocery sales are also up, though he laments that it’s always a challenge breaking into new supermarkets.

About 17% of its overall sales stem from supermarkets including Whole Foods and Safeway. It’s also sold on Amazon AMZN and CoffeeGoGo, and 95% of its sales stem from people from California.

Its six retail stores including three in Oakland, two in San Francisco, and one in Richmond, California, were all shut down for a time. But two in Oakland have reopened for curbside dining and mobile orders.

Its coffee is roasted in its plant, adjacent to one of its Oakland retail stores. Its two largest selling coffees are King’s Prize, a single-origin Ethiopian coffee and East 14th, a Tanzanian coffee named after a large street in Oakland in a tough neighborhood that was renamed International Boulevard.

At that retail store in Oakland, it also has a 7,000-square foot venue where it offered events such as live music, films, and held weddings, in what Konte described as an “industrial chic design.”

“We did 250 events last year,” said Konte, who is 53-years-old. All have been forced to close because of social distancing rules due to the pandemic crisis.

The pandemic has scaled back its business, other than e-commerce sales. “Our office coffee service shut down overnight, the events came to a screeching halt, and the cafes all shut down,” he noted.

One innovative move of Konte’s was introducing a mobile van coffee service, prior to the pandemic striking. “Half of that was luck,” he acknowledged, “and half of it was having the foresight to understand the value of a mobile option.”

He’s been parking it near heavily trafficked supermarkets such as Costco and Trader Joe’s and business is booming there. “It’s been a lifeline and great brand exposure,” he said.

Moreover, he expanded what it sold on the van beyond coffee to include cases of its tea products and cartons of oat milk. “We sold it through six-foot distances and cashless transactions on the van, “he said.

He’s already acquired a second van and is looking into launching it this summer.

He’s also introduced bulk sales via e-commerce. For example, its five pound-bags of coffee are selling very well as people stock up with groceries at home.

Konte has a varied coffee background. He founded Guerilla Café in North Berkeley, California in 2006 and spearheaded serving Blue Bottle Coffee, now a well-known national chain.

But what Konte really wanted to do was start his own coffee company. He launched Red Bay Coffee in 2014 because he wanted to bring “specialty coffee to a more accessible, broader, more diverse audience previously not catered to.”

Konte thought it was important for an African-American-owned coffee company to thrive. “Coffee is Africa’s gift to the world. It originated in Ethiopia. Coffee is, in a sense, our heritage,” he pointed out.

Red Bay Coffee, he noted, is one of the few coffee companies in the U.S. that is “marketing to African American people.” On its social media sites, about 60% of its followers are African-American women, and approximately 50% of its traffic at retail stores is African-American customers.

Raising enough money to start it required ingenuity and fortitude. Eventually, Konte raised $7 million through a combination of bootstrapping, crowd funding through Kickstarter and WeFunder, convertible notes from angel investors, and most recently, venture capital funding.

At its height, Red Bay Coffee had 70 employees, but when the pandemic curtailed business, it cut back to 20 employees. When the pandemic hit and stores closed, retail sales plummeted 85% but with some reopened, it’s down about 40%, he said.

The pandemic has forced it to become more efficient than in the past. “In the future, we have the muscle to push ourselves into various channels, and yet we’re still small enough to be nimble to adapt to the current environment,” he said.

Source: FORBES

Related: Black Owned Coffee and Tea Businesses

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@shoppeblack)