cup of tea

There’s a lot of bad news out there. It makes stories like these all the more important.

A coffee shop was recently founded in Georgia by a musician who wanted a way to reach out to those struggling with mental illness. This is a truly bright spot on an otherwise miserable news circuit.

Coffee and tea isn’t just about roasting the rarest specialty coffee or the most esteemed harvesting technique. It’s about why we make it. The impact we leave on people, from harvested bean to espresso shot.

I chose to focus on coffee and tea because of the ongoing influence these drinks leave on my life. They’ve been a great source of pleasure and contentment, giving my itchy fingers something warm to cradle on a cold night. Back when I consumed caffeine coffee or tea sometimes was the only thing keeping me awake! Even now just the act of brewing has a way of grounding my mind and helping me focus on my work. As someone who is mentally ill, this tool has been indispensable for keeping me moving forward.

This cafe sounds like a truly lovely place to relax. On top of providing delicious food and drink Waller’s Coffee Shop hosts live music, weekend wellness events and open mic sessions. With coffee and tea industries having a mainstream reputation for elitist attitudes — and the physical cafe struggling for relevance in a digital era — I hope this sets a trend for others to follow.

To embrace both technique and the human heart at the core of it all.

cafe sign

Great Lattes, Great Interiors: Three Fun Spins On Classic Cafe Design

The quintessential coffee shop has grown, for lack of a better term, quite organically in the minds of Americans over the decades.

With over 30,000 cafes to the United States’ name, there comes an inevitable commonality between them all. They’re viewed as highly modern settings with convenience at your fingertips. Free Wi-Fi, accessible charging stations, quality lighting, you name it. Then there’s the rustic furniture or impeccable modernism, beautiful to witness even through the haze of the morning rush. It’s all topped off with, what else, delicious coffee and tea paired with pastries, soups and treats. Whether you visit cafes regularly or only swing by as a reward to yourself, it’s easy to think these places blur together after a while.

Here are three small, yet significant spins on the classic coffee shop I’ve seen recently. Some things never change, but these are more than happy to bump up the novelty:

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tea leaves

Climate Change Waits For No One: Why Tea Businesses Need Packaging Updates

Climate change is a subject that’s constantly talked about, yet doesn’t always feel…concrete. It’s a variable that becomes heavier or lighter depending on where you live and where you work. When it comes to the quality of tea, though, the difference can literally be tasted.

The issue of global warming is something no one should ignore, particularly tea businesses who rely on an ideal set of conditions to cultivate their delicate stock. When it comes to recognizing the impact of eco-friendly packaging, the tea industry often leads the charge. Numi Organic is a popular brand that projects front and center their commitment to organic products and fair sourcing, such as partnering with organizations that provide vulnerable communities access to clean water. Stash is another you’ll easily recognize for not just their bold logo, but their focus on sustainable, unbleached packaging materials. Quite a lot of tea packaging on store shelves will mention — if not outright revolve around — a commitment to green values, from ethical sourcing with farmers to recycled paper or plastic.

These are all great eco-friendly packaging habits that will make the world a better place to live. …Will it be enough, though?

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