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Staff Picks: Honoring Women in Coffee

Playing an essential role every step of the way.

by Amanda Abene | March 16, 2021

Women account for 70 percent of the labor force in the world’s major coffee-producing countries. The closer coffee gets to its final destination when cultivation gives way to bargaining, the fewer women are allowed to participate, meaning the less income they receive from overall sales.

Many countries that previously did not allow women to purchase farmland have now opened the opportunity to women. This trickles down to green buyers, Q graders, roasters, all the way to the barista pouring your coffee. As more women become leaders in the coffee industry, the potential for this crop to become an engine of women’s empowerment and poverty reduction is huge.

We must remember that women have the ability to share each other’s stories. Coffee is grown in Black and Brown countries by women whose stories don’t usually get told. Let’s remember these women while sipping some of the coffees that have been brought to us by great women of the coffee industry.

equator act for all coffee do good blend

Our newest program, Act for All Coffee, aims to make a meaningful impact on communities and advocate for equal rights and equitable opportunities for all. For every Act for All Coffee sold, we'll donate $2 to a social justice cause of the roaster’s choosing.

This month, the fantastic women-owned team at Equator has created this exclusive blend of a rich and silky coffee from Colombia’s La Cristalina cooperative, balanced by a fully washed coffee from Kenya that adds brightness and crisp fruit flavors. For every bag of Equator’s Do Good Blend purchased, Trade will be donating $2 to their chosen cause, Black Girls CODE.

Equator Act for All Coffee: Do Good Blend ($19)

maquina rwanda rambagira coffee

This is the second harvest ever for the Dukunde Kawa Women's Group, and it’s so good I can’t imagine what it will be like in another harvest or two! So bright and clean with a green tea and berry sweetness, this Rwandan coffee is really special.

Maquiná Rwanda, Rambagira Women's Group ($22)

wonderstate project congo coffee

I don’t get to drink coffee from Democratic Republic of Congo nearly as often as I would like to, and so I am excited we are offering this from Wonderstate.

Wonderstate donates $1 for every pound sold of this exceptional Congolese coffee to promote, support, and raise awareness of gender equality in the farming regions of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This blend offers two-thirds of a washed-process coffee and one-third natural process coffee. This helps create a balanced cup offering ripe berry sweetness with a crisp citrus aftertaste that makes you want to sip again and again.

Wonderstate Organic Project Congo Muungano ($19)

joe coffee ejo heza

Another delicious Rwandan coffee I’ve been sipping is the Ejo Heza from Joe Coffee. Joe sources this coffee from a special subset of the Kopakama Cooperative in Rwanda: Ejo Heza, which means “Bright Tomorrow.”

It’s a perfectly fitting name as this coffee tastes like a chocolate-covered Granny Smith apple: crisp, tart, and super-sweet. These women of the Ejo Heza subset manage a communal plot of coffee trees on a little over one hectare of land, as well as on their own family plots. Thanks to the support of the Kopakama Co-op, the farmers are constantly experimenting with and improving upon the quality and sustainability of their coffee farms, including planting beneficial shade trees.

Joe Rwanda Ejo Heza ($20)

mother tongue fincas mierisch

Decaf lovers unite! I always keep a bag of decaf on hand and sometimes run out of it quicker than my bag of caffeinated coffee!

This coffee from one of our newest, women-owned roasters, Mother Tongue, has everything I’m looking for in a decaf. It reminds me of German chocolate cake with maraschino cherries. Add in a splash of milk and you’ve got dessert in a cup, without the coffee jitters. It’s the perfect 8:00 pm treat.

Mother Tongue Decaf Fincas Mierisch ($21)