Coffee Businesses Providing COVID-19 Relief

The specialty-coffee community has come up with many creative ways to help out those impacted by the pandemic.


Cover photo courtesy of Augie’s Coffee House

Although the world has come to a sudden halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, that hasn’t stopped the coffee community’s resiliency to act during a tough time. In this series, we will feature an inspiringly massive list of coffee businesses in the United States that are taking a range of noble initiatives to support the greater community around them.

#RoastersForRelief by Caffe Vita

Caffe Vita has been sending five-pound bags of coffee to health-care workers in the Seattle area. Photo by Caffe Vita.

Several roasters across the country have created their own signature blends to support Caffe Vita’s Roasters for Relief initiative. For every bag that each roaster sells of this coffee, a designated dollar amount of that sale goes directly toward a local charity that they’ve chosen. Caffe Vita’s own blend is called WE GOT THIS SEATTLE, and $2 of every bag sold goes to the Seattle Foundation’s COVID 19 Response Fund. So far they’ve raised over $2,700! Coffee lovers who buy this bag can also take a picture of themselves and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #WeGotThisSeattleBlend, tag Caffe Vita, and have the chance at winning even more Caffe Vita coffee, a diner mug, and an AeroPress—the ultimate #StayHomeCoffee kit. The winner will be announced April 30.

Lastly, Caffe Vita is supporting our health-care workers in countless ways; They’ve donated 5-pound bags of coffee to health-care workers in New York, plus sent regular drop-offs at Seattle hospitals. They have also donated coffee to Salare, which has turned its restaurant into a relief center for displaced restaurant workers.

NY Loves Coffee helps out baristas and health-care workers in the NYC area. Illustration by Julia Cruz.

#NYLovesCoffee by Bean & Bean and Birch Coffee

In the New York City metro area, several cafés and businesses have gotten together to help their local coffee shops that have had to close, as well as baristas that have been laid off. If you buy coffee beans from the #NYLovesCoffee website—launched by Bean & Bean and Birch Coffee—most come with a quart of Oatly milk, and a portion of the proceeds go to the New York City Barista Relief Fund. In addition to this, you can also send cups of coffee to health-care workers in New York City hospitals. Recently, they sent over 120 cold brews and 24 Lenka bars to the NY Presbyterian Hospital in the Bronx, along with 400 more cups to the Elmhurst Hospital COVID-19 unit. You can become a roaster in the program yourself by contacting the team here.

A recent drop-off completed at NYC Healthy, Governeur. Photo courtesy of cups.

Coffee for Care by cups

The team at cups had been brainstorming ways that they could assist both baristas at their partner cafés and health-care workers at the same time in New York City. Thus, they created Coffee for Care, which has partnered with Rex Coffee and Round K, along with several other cafés, to provide cups of coffee and pastries for health-care workers at Mt. Sinai West. Simply fill out the form on their website with your payment info to donate however many cups of coffee you’d like to the team at Mt. Sinai!

They’ve also put together a handy guide on understanding the CARES Act, which helps café owners figure out how to best utilize the financial aid options available through it.

Augie’s delivers 700 cups of coffee to the Riverside Community Hospital. Photo courtesy of Augie’s Coffee House.

Augie’s Coffee House’s local coffee deliveries to health-care workers

Using donations from its community, Augie’s Coffee House in Redlands, Calif., has been sending cups of their coffee to local health-care professionals in the Inland Empire. They’ve got 20-pack and single-cup options; recently, Augie’s managed to deliver 700 cups to the Riverside Community Hospital, and also got some sweet oat milk donations from Minor Figures, along with batch brew contributed by Curtis.

For anyone who needs a creative and therapeutic spark during shelter in place, Augie’s teamed up with hospitality and music industry illustrators Boredom Kills Creative to offer this free coloring book available for download on the website!

Fuel for the Frontlines provides coffee and baked goods to health-care workers, first responders, and grocery store employees. Photo courtesy of Joe Van Gogh.

Fuel for the Frontlines by Joe Van Gogh

Joe Van Gogh Coffee in North Carolina has also coordinated a delivery program to serve their health-care workers, grocery store employees, and first responders in the Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham areas. The team is taking donations to bring them hot coffees, cold brews, and baked goods, and their culinary team also recently sent 100 lunches to Duke Health. Additionally, they’ve implemented a BOGO (buy one give one) coffee blend deal called Coffee for Care, in which customers have the option of donating one or both bags in this dual set to hospitals in the N.C. area or one of their choice.

We’ll feature more coffee businesses working to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as we continue this series.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.