Coffee Near Me

Coffee near me” used to be associated only with the online search for a local coffee shop. That’s changed: now it includes typing “shop now for coffee” into a computer or mobile device. Physical distancing has led to unconventional ways of integrating new people, new products, and new purpose within new digital spaces. Convenience in particular has become a major factor. So, instead of going to a coffee shop, consumers working from home or simply socially distancing at home prefer to have bags of fresh coffee delivered to their door so they can brew the coffee at their own convenience.

Searching for a new life-work-balance within the reality of a multiyear global pandemic, countless people have regularly woken up thinking, What are my priorities? What is truly important to me, and the people closest to me? What is the best coffee for me?

Weaver's Coffee Cupping in San Rafael, California

Weaver's Coffee & Tea coffee cupping in San Rafael, California

Photo Credit: Renee Brown

One thing that hasn’t changed is that everyone still has a morning ritual that usually includes a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. “Sixty-two percent of Americans drink coffee every day and the average American coffee drinker drinks just over three cups of coffee a day,” according to the National Coffee Association. So while the pandemic has set us adrift over the past few years, coffee has kept us anchored firmly near shore. Relaxing into a cup or two of delicious coffee helps millions of people prepare for their day. But even as the daily consumption of coffee has continued, the way we shop for the coffee we brew and drink at home has changed. We may be distanced from family and our “before-times” shopping and consuming habits, yet we’re still close via zoom and online shopping. So, how do we maintain the small, comforting rituals in our daily lives? And are there ways to help others and support local, national, community, and even global organizations through our purchases? If so, how do we know that a company we see online is legitimate, and has a real person working their magic to roast delicious coffee? 

John Weaver roasting coffee in San Rafael, California

John Weaver roasting coffee in San Rafael, California

Photo Credit: Renee Brown

One of the rock stars of the coffee industry is Weaver's Coffee & Tea, a leader in fresh, hand-roasted, artisanal coffee and fine, hand-blended tea for consumers and businesses. Weaver’s features the best coffee on several fronts: it’s delicious, it’s healthy, and it’s good for the environment. The customer gets a great cup of coffee, and through their purchase they help support local community organizations and coffee farmers across the world. One new product in particular is a sustainable single serve coffee, Weaver’s Steeped Coffee, which is a single cup compostable bag of fresh coffee, nitrogen flushed into a biodegradable package. In addition to its convenience, this is a wonderful way to replace the K-cup pods that are so bad for the environment. 

 

Weaver's French Roast Steeped Coffee

Weaver’s Steeped French Roast Coffee

Photo Credit: Kevin Erdman

The crew at Weaver’s Coffee & Tea includes Renee Brown, a brilliant entrepreneur blazing a path in the specialty coffee, and John Weaver, the company’s master coffee roaster, a living legend who has worked as a coffee roaster for more than 43 years. Weaver was trained to roast coffee by Alfred Peet, the father of specialty coffee. Being social entrepreneurs, the crew at Weaver’s Coffee & Tea believe in contributing to the local and global economy and have been doing so since 2013. They also donate time (and coffee) by creating pop-up cafes for charity organizations and events across California. Globally, they source more than 70 percent of their coffee through Fair Trade Certified™ farms from along the equatorial belt. Fair Trade Certified is an organization that changes the world one cup at a time—an easy way for consumers to support sustainable agriculture. Thousands of coffees bear the Fair Trade Certified seal, which helps to improve millions of lives and protect the land and waterways in 62 countries and counting. Purchases have resulted in $846 million being given to farmers and workers since 1999. 

“Sumatran

Sumatran Coffee Farmer

Photo Credit: Fair Trade Certified

“Coffee near me” has evolved to include what is brewing in the kitchen because many people are still working from home and may continue to do so indefinitely. It also appeals to digital nomads, remote workers who travel to different locations on a regular basis and have decided to spend their lives working on the road, living where the sun shines and a tropical beach is visible from their workspace. They bring their sustainable coffee with them and brew it in their home office, which usually has a view that most Americans can only dream about seeing on their yearly vacation. 

While consumers now brew more coffee at home, they are seeking better choices than what they find in the supermarket, which tends to be lower quality, mass produced coffee in a can or a pod. Consumers, especially hardcore coffee drinkers, seek authenticity, quality, and consistency in their cup of coffee. Many of them have realized that brewing coffee at home during the pandemic has saved them a lot of money, even thousands of dollars, as they no longer make a daily run to a coffee shop. It’s emboldened them to get online and shop for better quality coffees, a trend that is forcing retailers and roasters to adapt to a new reality.

Many coffee drinkers have also decided to spend time learning about coffee, their curiosity about what is in their daily dose piqued, and their interest in health stimulated by pandemic news coverage. In general, consumers wanted a “new me” in the “new year,” spending time on the treadmill or the bike to improve their physical and mental health. Similarly, skincare searches are up 600% since the pandemic began because people want to look their best when they appear on screen during Zoom meetings.  Furthermore, seeking knowledge about coffee or tea, consumers have been investigating where their coffee comes from, how it is grown, who farms and processes it, and how it is roasted, bagged, and shipped. In learning about coffee, many consumers have discovered that climate change is affecting the world’s coffee growing regions. “A new model predicts an overall decrease by 2050 in total land area that is suitable for growing coffee. Four of the top five producers of coffee in the world (Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia) are projected to have their best areas for growing coffee decrease in size and suitability” (National Geographic).

Finding out that in 30 years some of the coffees we take for granted may not be available is a mind-blowing proposition for consumers dependent upon a certain coffee from a specific country. The impact on the people at origin and along the supply chain will be even more profound. “The Colombian coffee industry plays an important role in Colombia’s economy. In fact, over 540,000 small family-owned coffee farms spanning 23 departments comprise the Colombian coffee industry and represent 69% of the total production in Colombia. It is estimated that about 2 million people in Colombia rely on the coffee industry to make a living” (Tridge.com). While it may be unfathomable that some coffees may be impossible to grow in countries currently renowned for their coffee industry, these changes will affect us in the future.

However, many people today are re-evaluating their priorities based on uncertainty about health and the economy, and this change is reflected in their purchases on a local, national, and global level. As one example, consumers are demanding authenticity from commodity products like coffee and tea. Finding artisans like the Weaver’s team, who support local, national, and global communities, is not easy, but it is possible with some time and research. “Coffee near me” could be around the corner or as close as your computer or mobile phone. If coffee is a daily ritual that you know and love, it’s worth doing the research and choosing your coffee knowing that each purchase you make will change the world one cup of coffee at a time.

 

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