LGBTQIA+ Guide: Cool Coffee People Doing Cool Things
Photos c/o Umeshiso Coffee Supply, Getchusomegear and via Sightseers Coffee, Scary Good Coffee.
At Brewista, we celebrate Pride and our communities not only this month, but each and every day. We are grateful to have a coffee community comprised of incredible human beings steeped in creativity, individuality, and with so many different gifts to share.
Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, we want to help empower you to explore cool people doing cool things. As a follow-up to our guide of emerging roasters, here's the scoop on our favorite LGBTQIA+ businesses and organizations to support— all serving up stellar coffee, awesome gear, and reshaping the future of coffee.
1. Umeshiso Coffee Supply
Photo by Morgan Eckroth c/o Umeshiso Coffee Supply.
If you have not yet come across Umeshiso's fun, colorful, and don't-take-yourself-so-seriously Instagram feed, then you're in for a treat. This Kansas City-based business is quite literally the "center of the Spooniverse", which grew quickly from their original (and popular) Rainbow Dipper cupping spoons.
"I’m nonbinary, mixed race, disabled, a proud gaysian, and I love it. It’s just that other people don’t always love it. That’s why I started taking my rainbow spoons to coffee cuppings. No matter what anyone said to me, my rainbow spoon reminded me that I belong. It turns out many people related and wanted their own rainbow spoons, so I created Umeshiso!" recalls founder Umeko Motoyoshi (they/them), a 14-year specialty coffee veteran.
Umeshiso's universe has now expanded into rainbow, gold and black cupping spoons of many sizes, cupping kits, chopsticks, and more.
Shop | From $7
2. Get Psyched | Organization
Photo c/o Umeshiso Coffee Supply.
Another thing we love about Umeshiso Coffee Supply is that they believe in community and mutual aid. In addition to donating on a monthly basis to many amazing organizations, they also operate their own nonprofit initiative, Get Psyched. In partnership with the coffee nonprofit GoFundBean, the initiative provides free psychiatric care for coffee workers. You can learn more and help support their community here.
3. Scary Good Coffee
Photo via Scary Good Coffee.
LGBTQ+ women-owned Scary Good Coffee was founded by Nancy Alvarez and Shannon Smith, two former corporate employees who turned to coffee to keep them going during those long work hours. Their weekends were spent experimenting with various brewing methods, roasts, and coffee from various regions.
Through their frequent visits to coffee shops, they noticed that minorities and women were underrepresented in the coffee industry. "The majority of coffee growers worldwide are people of color; women play an important role in harvesting and sorting coffee, but they are frequently excluded from decision-making positions or from becoming business owners. This inspired us to establish our own business," Nancy and Shannon recall.
Their range of coffee includes single origin coffee to complex, balanced blends aptly named after iconic scary characters.
Shop | From $16
4. Sightseer Coffee Roasters
Photo via Sightseer Coffee Roasters.
Sightseer Coffee founders Kimberly Zash, Sara Gibson, and Stefani Spandau are all about offering great coffee, and they do so by sourcing high-quality, fresh-crop coffee exclusively from exceptional women producers. Then they dial in their roasts and blends to create appealing flavor profiles that you’ll want to drink all day long.
As a queer-owned company, they also believe coffee should be representational. "When we see ourselves reflected in an industry, at a place of business, or on a team, we experience inclusion and validation. Sightseer is dedicated to empowering marginalized people (e.g. those who identify as queer, BIPOC, disabled, and/or low-income) through vendor selection, training opportunities, employment, and livable wages."
We also love the clever names they give their coffee beans, including the Dad Bod full-bodied medium roast and Hellacious Espresso.
Shop | From $17
5. Getchusomegear Initiative
Photo c/o Getchusomegear.
Founded by Chris McAuley, getchusomegear is a grassroots organization collecting coffee gear to distribute to marginalized coffee professionals. Since its inception in June of 2019 (yes, they just celebrated their 3rd birthday!), getchusomegear has shipped 500 coffee gear boxes across the United States and expanded to Canada.
Brewista is grateful to be a getchusomegear partner and provide coffee business owners all the gear they need to outfit a cafe— from drippers to scales to kettles. These amazing Getchu a (gear) grant recipients are making great coffee and doing radical community work in coffee and beyond.
You can follow their stories and support the initiative here.
Photo c/o Getchusomegear.
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