Feb 10, 2022 - Food and Drink

D.C.'s Black & Brown Coffee gives back

From left: Javier Llano and Karel Leon pose with Black and Brown Coffee House merchandise.
From left: Javier Llano and Karel Leon pose with Black and Brown Coffee House merchandise. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Washingtonians Javier Llano and Karel Leon founded online coffee retailer Black & Brown Coffee House in an effort to diversify the industry and to enrich the community with sustainably made pure Colombian coffee.

What they're saying: "Most of the work to bring coffee to the table is done by Black and brown people," Llano tells Axios, yet few business owners in the coffee industry are people of color. "We need to … have our own companies and create our own jobs," Leon added.

What's happening: Llano, a lobbyist and community organizer, and Leon, who has decades of experience in the coffee and agriculture industries, are passionate about coffee and supporting underserved communities. The two strive to perfect the science that goes into making the perfect cup of coffee and the art behind the relationships that can form over a cup of Joe.

The newly launched online company prioritizes harvesting and roasting ripe, hand-picked, and sun-dried coffee beans in a way that preserves their natural antioxidants. The owners stress that quality black coffee is healthy, and doesn't need sugar or cream.

Of note: In addition to supporting Colombian farmers with fair trade rates, 5% of Black & Brown Coffee proceeds go toward organizations that support kids. 

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