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How woke is your coffee? Industry symposium tackles 'building diverse and inclusive coffee communities'

After the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks location in Philadelphia, woke coffee drinkers were faced with a dilemma: should they join the boycott of the chain, find an even more progressive coffee chain to patronize, or just brew coffee at home?


We’ll admit it’s not a question that’s kept any of us up at night, but The Seattle Times wonders just how woke your morning cup of coffee really is.

The Starbucks controversy kicked off some discussion at an industry symposium in Seattle, and it turns out coffee’s problems with diversity and inclusion reportedly run all the way up the supply chain. It’s not just a Starbucks problem; it’s a coffee problem.

Benjamin Romano reports:

But speakers at the coffee industry gathering said Wednesday this is by no means a problem limited to Starbucks.

“In the time of Black Lives Matter, when we see over and over again how coffee spaces, cafes, and the coffee industry exclude people of color — and I’m not just talking about the events that happened in Philadelphia … this is a coffee problem, it’s not one single business’ problem,” said Colleen Anunu, director of coffee supply chain at Fair Trade USA, introducing a session on building diverse and inclusive coffee communities. “Coffee, cafes are seen generally as the first wave of gentrification into black or people-of-color communities.”

A session on “building diverse and inclusive coffee communities”? Between this symposium and Starbucks’ mandated afternoon shut-down for racial-bias training, we expect big things.

So, where does your morning cup stand in terms of diversity and inclusion?



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