How's everyone holding up? Have you checked on your Black brothers and sisters? Before you continue reading on, do so now (that includes colleagues, friends, loved ones, family, all the above).
Like so many of us have done and have been doing, we've been participating in intentional and peaceful protests, signing petitions seeking justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor (among so many others), donating to Black Lives Matter/relevant organizations and reaching out to our local governments to voice our opinions on MUCH-NEEDED legislative change that is long overdue. I'm proud of all who have committed to action, but like Nipsey said, "The Marathon Continues." And so, the work must go on!
Lately, I've been thinking about how I can make a conscious difference on a daily basis (in addition to speaking out and continuing to do the work) -- so much so that it becomes a sustained effort to fight against systemic racism. It's that extra thing I can do to make a difference everyday.
After a few days of pondering, it hit me: Coffee! Now wait, hear me out...
Not only do I spend a fair amount of money on coffee, but I also love the act of heading into a coffee shop and picking up my freshly-made morning drink. It has become my own little spiritual ritual. And just the smell of coffee brings me simplistic joy.
Buying power is something I'm trying to claim back, BUT we also can't fail to see that buying power is a privilege. Some don't have the means because there are other products in the market that are more affordable and the cost of living just seems to be getting more and more expensive, so it's important to recognize that, too.
I truly believe in investing and putting my money into Black-owned businesses, who are also investing and giving back to the community. I've decided to make an extra initiative to buy and support Black-owned coffee shops moving forward. Support boosts their businesses and boom, everyone is winning!
If you're able to do so, let your voice be heard with your buying power. Buying power can truly make a difference. I'm making a vow to go to local Black-owned coffee shops from here on out, as well as only support local coffee spots in the city as frequently as possible. Luckily, Los Angeles is a vibrant city full of so many coffee shops to explore. If you're with me, below are some spots in the city that you can support.
P.S. Once I visit a shop, I will update the list with what makes each shop EXTRA special. Stay tuned!
Here’s an extensive list of Black-owned coffee shops in Los Angeles:
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen
Sip and Sonder
Mingles Tea Bar
Hot and Cool Cafe
La Cienaga Heights:
South LA Cafe
Coffee del Mundo
Adams Coffee Shop
Silverback Coffee of Rwanda
Bohemian House of Espresso and Chai
Boketto Cold Brew
Coffee by Kofi
Bloom and Plume Coffee
MY EXPERIENCE: I went to this coffee shop and was so invigorated by not only the fresh blooms outside the shop (tons of colors and varieties), but the loyal community who came out to support. There was a line around 8am-ish, so I suggest pre-ordering for pick-up or kicking it in line with your best coffee bud.
From the colorful flower display to the tasty food and perfect café, the vibes were high and empowering. It's the perfect way to start your morning... no other way than with flowers, an almond iced latte and feel-good vibes.
Here are some photos that I took of the sweet spot:
Obet and Del’s
Marina Del Rey:
Lou, the French on the Block
LA Grind Coffee and Tea Bar