Freshly Brewed: A Coffee Playlist

As the summer heat continues, we’ve put together a refreshing playlist of episodes from this past year about one of the most ubiquitous drinks in the world: coffee. The following episodes take on coffee from a variety of angles, from sourcing to entrepreneurship to lawsuits. Tune in as you sip along on your own cup of joe!

By: Vy Dong

Speaking Broadly Episode 152: Third Wave and Beyond: Helen Russell: Inspired by the proliferation of great coffee, Speaking Broadly host Dana Cowin kicks off a short series on the Third Wave and beyond with Helen Russell, co-founder of Equator Coffees. Helen launched Equator in 1995 with Brooke McDonnell, her partner in life and business from their home in Marin County, CA. Passionate and entertaining, Helen talks us through the recent history of coffee in the U.S., discusses the role of sourcing and story and imagines the future of the bean. 

Opening Soon Episode 79: More Than a Coffee Shop with Round K by Sol: This episode aims to assist new entrepreneurs in finding their way through the process of getting their hospitality business off the ground - hopefully with flying colors! One type of business we haven’t delved deeply into? Coffee shops. NYC alone has just under 4,000 coffee shops and has been growing steadily over the last several years. Fun fact: according to the Wall Street Journal only 129 closed during the pandemic. Alex and Jenny are joined by our friend, neighbor, and new business owner, Sol of Round K by Sol. While Sol is not new to coffee, he is newly in business, with his first coffee shop on New York's Chinatown/Lower East Side border.  

Why Food? Episode 172: Margaret Nyamumbo: Kahawa 1893 Coffee: Enjoy a conversation with Margaret Nyamumbo, founder of Kahawa 1893. Margaret is a third generation coffee farmer and grew up on a farm in Kenya before immigrating to the USA. After earning her MBA from Harvard, she went on to work on Wall Street when she rediscovered her passion for coffee. She founded Kahawa 1893 with a mission to close the gender gap in coffee. In Kenya, over 90% of labor in coffee comes from women, but they aren't fairly compensated because they don't own the land. Kahawa 1893 coffee is roasted and distributed from San Francisco and the brand recently launched in Trader Joe's as the first Black & woman-owned coffee brand to launch in the grocery chain.

Japan Eats! Episode 221: Coffee Life in Japan: Akiko’s guest is Merry White who is the author of Coffee Life in Japan, an absolutely insightful and fascinating book about Japanese coffee as well as unique Japanese culture and society.  Japanese people started drinking coffee fairly recently compared to their centuries-old custom of tea drinking, but Japan is the number five importer of coffee beans as of 2021. Over the last century Japan has developed a remarkably unique coffee shop culture. Learn about why Merry got into Japanese coffee culture, how Japanese coffee culture differs from the rest of the world, what functions coffee shops perform uniquely in Japanese society, the concept of Kissaten and much, much more!


Life’s a Banquet Episode 121: "ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCCINOS!!!"- The COFFEE redux episode!: This coffee redux is grande with an extra shot of cheese. Open wide for Nicole’s riveting history of coffee enemas, and stay for a working-class-hero story of the notorious “McDonald's hot coffee” tort lawsuit. So put on another pot of blazing hot Java, and shoot it directly up your butt, it’s Life’s a Banquet the podcast!

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