Monday, April 18, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about the power that I have as a consumer. Advertising companies spend millions and billions of dollars, vying for my time, attention, and money.

I'm particularly susceptible to marketing, because, dear friends, I'm a brand-lover.

And, more specifically, I'm a coffee brand lover.

Oh yes. I've swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker:

"this very cup of coffee
will instantly transform you into a stunningly cool person who
(1) knows how to take care of herself,
(2) knows how to enjoy life,
(3) wears the right skinny jeans,
(4) and by golly, is ethically responsible, too
{thanks to the earth-friendly hand-knit sleeve on her coffee cup}."

Tada! Perfection {and earth-friendliness} is instantly achieved in my day, through the purchase of one cup of coffee.

Thus, I am awesome.

Ok, whatever. I love coffee, I love coffeeshops, and I love my french press at home :) But getting back to reality here... I buy a lot of coffee. Yes, I brew 99% of my coffee at home, and yes, I buy cheap{ish} coffee {sometimes}, and yes, I save money in other areas so that I can budget for my one-cup-per-day coffee habit...

But I still spend money on coffee. Because I love it :)

And then... it was brought to my attention yesterday that my favorite coffee company "is a Shariah-compliant firm owned by an Islamic bank based in Bahrain. One of its founders and a current adviser are leaders in the radical Muslim Brotherhood." {according to an editorial at Investors. com}

Um. What?

Not to mention the fact that everyone else's favorite coffee company has a diversity policy that I'm not too comfortable with.

Alright. Stay with me here.

When I buy coffee {or coffee beans} from these places, I'm supporting what these companies stand for. Right? Right. And, while I probably buy lots of products from companies who don't share my same values and beliefs... at the moment, I'm unaware of them.

Unfortunately, I am aware of of a few of the things that my favorite mainstream coffee companies stand for {and that I particularly disagree with}: who they get their money from, who they give their money to, and so on.

And, I'm responsible for what I know.

So, here's the plan:

I'm going to start buying my coffee from companies who stand for things that I'm passionate about -- things that have eternal significance, and things that are close to the heart of God.

Enter Gobena Coffee.
*cue heavenly music*

Here's a company I can buy coffee from with a clear conscience. They offer "fresh-roasted gourmet fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee delivered right to your door." {Side note: my aunt just sent me an article about the health benefits of organic coffee. YESSSSSSSS.} And the best part?

100% of the net profits are reinvested in the lives of orphan children throughout the world.

The coffee is a bit more pricey than what I'm used to. Maybe I'll have to scale back my coffee-consumption a bit.

But, wow.

Drinking coffee, and giving money to a ministry that I care about, at the same time?

It's music to my ears :)

1 comment:

Katie said...

good find! We'll have to check it out :)