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Nguyen Coffee Supply Talks Social Justice and Diversity in Forbes
Our business goes way beyond just selling Vietnamese coffee beans– we're also dedicated to promoting diversity and social justice in all of our work. Our Founder Sahra Nguyen chatted with Forbes about the work we're doing to advance coffee culture and create a more inclusive, transparent world. Here are some main takeaways:
- Nguyen Coffee Supply is a direct-to-consumer company and one of the only craft roasters in the country to celebrate and offer robusta coffee which is a “bold and delicious” bean that includes two times the caffeine, two times more antioxidants, 60% less sugar and 60% less fat than arabica coffee
- Since our founding, we have found that 75% of our customers prefer robusta and robusta blends over 100% arabica. Note: this isn’t to say that one is better than the other (coffees don’t live in hierarchy and we don’t promote hierarchical cultures in coffee), but rather it points to the fact that we all deserve more diversity — diversity in offerings, in products, in narratives, in ideas, in community building and in leadership.
- Nguyen Coffee Supply started after we noticed that while the “specialty coffee community” was dedicated to transparency, that value wasn’t applied to Vietnamese coffee farmers. Coffee shops often advertise “Vietnamese Iced Coffee” without using Vietnamese coffee beans, instead using an African or South American bean and adding condensed milk, which we find to be unfair to actual producers of coffee beans who are ignored in this promotion and cultural exchange.
- Vietnamese coffee is known for robusta beans, which coffee shops often do not use in their preparations. Also, condensed milk is a coffee drink, but not what makes Vietnamese coffee what it is. Many other countries also use condensed milk such as Spain and Thailand.
- Nguyen Coffee Supply joined the International Women’s Coffee Association’s Vietnam chapter. As part of the organization, we hope to promote gender equality and and socioeconomic advancement for women who work in the coffee industry.
- We value equitable representation and anti-racism. We donate as well as use our platform to amplify and educate our online audience about various leaders and organizations working within social justice, including The Okra Project, Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund, Black Visions Collective, the Undocu Workers Fund, and Mekong NYC. We were also a National 2020 Census Partner.
- Quote from our Founder: “We are committed to building and promoting an anti-racist and anti-classist coffee culture. While ‘mastery’ of brew tools is a choice of exploration for some people, we do not promote a culture within coffee that perpetuates hierarchy. We believe that coffee is personal and always encourage people to find their own voice and preference in the coffee journey.”
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