As much as I love exploring cute cafes and trying out new, cool and trendy drinks such as speciality and seasonal iced lattes, this pandemic made me really realize how much I spend on one particular expense: coffee. 

To my fellow Dunkin, Starbucks, Pavement, Jaho, or dedicated and loyal fans to certain cafes (my new favorite is Phinista!) trying to save up or cut down on costs, I strongly suggest investing in a coffee machine (don't forget the amazing coffee grinder from PDJW on Amazon!), that way, you can make your coffee whenever you want to.  Whether you drink your coffee plain, or add sweetener, creamer and milk to it, these coffee brands provide the perfectly strong taste that essentially serve as your morning wake up call.  Not to mention, they all have worthwhile and meaningful mission statements aligned with the delicious coffee they produce.  

1. Cafecita 

Based in Los Angeles, California, Cafecita is a women-led, single origin, fair trade and organic speciality coffee.  All their beans come from sustainable women-owned coffee farms and co-ops, and a percentage of every sale goes to supporting women’s nonprofits around the world.

In order to provide equal market access, ensure their producers receive a fair share of profits and promote gender equality at every production stage, Cafecita works specifically with women producers. As their coffee is single origin, you know exactly which producers you’re supporting, which you can check out on their website to learn more about their histories and values.  By drinking coffee from Cafecita, you're effortlessly supporting women’s empowerment, while enjoying some incredible coffee.  Stay tuned with their amazing work on their Instagram! 

2. Shrader Coffee Company

Based in the Bay Area but with coffee beans sourced from many tiny family farms, Shrader Coffee utilizes a hundred year old method to pick their beans, without involving any automated picking machines or careless processing. They also focus on environmentally friendly processing.

For every bag of coffee sold, Shrader Coffee Co. donates $1 to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to support lifeline callers and to change the conversation around suicide prevention and mental health. Shrader Coffee Co. truly acknowledges this growing issue, and wants to help save lives by encouraging others to really have a conversation regarding this sensitive topic.  Stay tuned with their meaningful work via Instagram.

3. Alto Cold Brew

I was absolutely hooked from the sip of my first ever cold brew due to its refreshing, strong and smooth taste. For my BREW-tiful coffee lovers who haven't had a chance to sip your first cold brew yet, buy yourself a kit from Alto Cold Brew right here to immerse yourself in the Cold Brew hype.

This speciality cold brew coffee filter company has a goal to improve the ways that shops make their cold brew, by hoping to make the process easier and taste better.  Their filters are stronger than traditional filters, provide a brighter and cleaner taste, and require absolutely no clean up because they are disposable and recyclable!  Stay tuned with their brew-tiful cold brew feed here. 

Need a little something to pair your coffee with?  Another worthwhile investment for you to reduce your coffee-side snack/breakfast pastry needs (college students, this will fit perfectly in those dorm rooms!) is the Dash Mini Waffle Maker (it is SO cute), paired with the delicious ReMix Waffle Mixes.  These waffles are perfect for people who are constantly on-the-go, but still value a good ol' breakfast to kick start the morning.

Jenny Tungsubutra

#SupportLocalBusinesses is a hashtag that should never stop trending, regardless of the pandemic or not.