Cafenated Coffee Co. was established by founder Parisa Jamasbi to support women’s coffee farm cooperatives in what is a largely male-dominated industry. By cutting out the middlemen, and connecting the cooperatives directly to consumers, Jamasbi and her staff help these female farmers increase their profits, and gain the notoriety they deserve. With their e-commerce business, and new cafe space, Cafenated combines important coffee education with a cozy and welcoming perspective. We chatted with Jamasbi about how Cafenated came to be, and why their work is so important to the specialty coffee world.
Can you tell us more about how Cafenated Coffee Co. came to be? What was the driving force?
Cafenated Coffee Co. was born online and as an e-commerce roaster. We wanted a name that was both memorable and relevant to what we do. The driving force behind Cafenated is to help women farmers, who are underrepresented, underpaid, and underappreciated in the global supply chain for coffee beans. After traveling to Guatemala and visiting some of the farms, the idea for Cafenated was conceived, [and] we wanted to share it with everyday coffee consumers across North America who can support farmers directly.
How do you find the women’s coffee farm cooperatives you work with? Do you work with the same farms year after year?
Depending on the season and availability we work with farmers directly, or with suppliers such as Sustainable Harvest, who source the coffee from women cooperatives in Central America, South America, and Africa.
Why is it important to you to support women working in the coffee farming industry? How does this extend to working with women in other parts of your business?
Climate change, disease, and migration are negatively impacting specialty coffee farms, especially in Central America. Watching women farmers struggle to sell their coffee beans at high enough margins to make a living inspired us to buy from them and roast it ourselves. Many men are leaving the farms to work in construction, or as day laborers, to make money, leaving the women to tend to the farms.
We also do support women-owned businesses and plan to buy from them when possible. For example, our Matcha is produced in Oakland by Tannor. Samantha Tanner is the founder of the company.
How did you get started in the coffee world?
We always loved coffee and coffee culture, however, our friends in Guatemala and travels there inspired us to enter the coffee business.
Do you have a morning coffee routine, or favorite way to drink coffee?
I enjoy a pour-over cup of coffee every morning, I love 04 Serenity, which is medium roast coffee we roast. Later in the day, a cup of latte made by a good barista is a really fantastic addition to my daily routine.
What single-origin coffees does Cafenated currently have on offer? Do you have a current favorite coffee or coffee region?
All of Cafenated coffee beans are single-origin only! We don't do blends as we believe you should be able to taste the fruit, the farm it originates from, and the farmer who's grown the beans.
Can you tell us more about Cafenated’s new coffee house? Your first pop up dining event looked amazing!
Thanks, the coffee house represents Cafenated brand and vision. It's cozy, friendly, and approachable. We want to be the extension of the community, so people can linger while enjoying their favorite cup of coffee beverage. We have fast free wi-fi that actually works! A beautiful garden in the back with the latest consumer-friendly coffee making equipment. We selected Modbar as our espresso machine so people can interact with our baristas. Ratio 8 is another conversation piece for our guests. In fact, we have designed our bar in a way to showcase consumer-friendly methods of coffee making. Our goal is to demonstrate to consumers that, using our coffee beans, they too can have the same cup of coffee at home as they do at our coffee house.
In the near future, we plan to invite talented local chefs to do pop up dinners at Cafenated Coffee House, keeping food options fun and unique.
Does one memorable moment come to mind involving the impact Cafenated has made on the life of a female coffee farmer?
I recently invited a representative from Mayan-women cooperative farms in Mexico to join our coffee program. They are working hard to revive high-quality specialty coffee in the most southern region of Mexico. For years, they had produced low-cost coffee that led to the bankruptcy of many, but now they are converting to cultivating high-quality specialty coffee, and Cafenated would like to help by introducing their beans in one of our coffee products.
How do you share your support of, and the importance of, female farmers in the coffee world with the customers who come into your cafe?
We have posters and flyers telling the story of the farmers - where they come from, what challenges they face, and why consumer participation in supporting these small lot farmers matter today and to the future of specialty coffee. We tell our customers that their support for these farmers is essential to make small farms sustainable, and survive.
What are your future plans for Cafenated?
To fulfill our mission, we plan to establish the Cafenated Coffee Co. brand across the country. Cafenated is planning to expand both online, wholesale, and in select areas, by building exceptional coffee houses.
Website: Cafenated Coffee Co.