If you’d told us back in January that we’d be facing a global pandemic, we wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are, with the service industry nearly shut down, workers furloughed, and unemployment at its highest rate since the Great Depression.
We’re all struggling right now. But local coffee shops have been hit particularly hard.
During this uncertain time, we at Simpli Press wanted to collect some ways we can all support our coffee community, from coffee shops to baristas nationwide. We’re all in this together, so let’s do our best to keep our beloved coffee industry afloat until we can all meet again!
Curbside coffee pickup or delivery
Are you still drinking coffee during quarantine? Of course you are! In fact, you probably need these magic beans more than ever. With kiddos running around, a new work-from-home schedule, and Slack pinging you all day long, an extra shot of caffeine is a must.
Many independent coffee shops are offering curbside coffee pickup and delivery as a way to keep the lights on. LA-based Augie’s Coffee, for example, has drip coffee, cold brew, and espresso drinks available for curbside pickup at their four locations.
They’ve also started a “Buy Coffee for Healthcare Professionals” program. Customers can add the cost of a cup (or 20 cups!) of coffee to their order, which Augie’s will use to bring coffee to local healthcare workers. We love this way of supporting those on the front lines!
Online bean and merch orders
If ordering curbside or delivery isn’t feasible for you, there are other ways you can support your local coffee shops and roasters.
Many roasters will send their specialty beans right to your doorstep. Check out the wide variety of blends and roasts from Thanksgiving Coffee Company. This activist coffee roaster is an advocate for independent farmers, environmentally-friendly growing, and Fair Trade practices. Follow them on Instagram at @ajustcup.
To find a coffee roaster near you, check out Sprudge’s map of roasters across the country. There are hundreds listed, all across the world!
If you’re already stocked up on beans, how about some swag? Many coffee shops sell merch that you can buy to show your support. Better Half Coffee & Cocktails in Austin, TX has excellent t-shirts, totes, and koozies for the independent coffee shop lover in your life. You can also pick up gift cards to use once the world gets back to something like normalcy.
Donate to virtual tip jars
What if you’d prefer to support workers directly? The people who are sitting at home with no income and no way to work remotely?
Virtual tip jars are the answer.
Baristakc, an Instagram account dedicated to highlighting local Kansas City baristas, has set up a virtual tip jar that they’re distributing to all valid applicants each week.
You can also check out @gofundbean’s website that lists over 200 coffee shops with links to their virtual tip jars. Find a local coffee shop to donate to and help a barista pay their bills for a few extra days.
Spread the love
We understand that times are tight for many people, and making purchases or donations may not be feasible. If you can’t contribute, consider spreading the word through your community instead.
Use the hashtag #brewathome to join I’m Not a Barista’s social campaign of support and discounts at independent coffee shops. Encourage your friends and family to shop with local independent roasters, and share your own homemade coffee creations.
Even though life may seem out of control at the moment, take the time to enjoy your morning coffee ritual. The smell of the beans, the color deepening, the gentle press on the plunger of your Simpli Press. These few minutes of calm before your day gets started are more important now than ever.
Do you have any other suggestions for ways we can support our community coffee shops? Let us know in the comments! And tag @simplipress on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to share your morning coffee ritual with us.
Written by Kate McDermott.