Business for Good: Eurasia Cafe

About the Business for Good Series

In 2012, I challenged myself not buy anything new. With only a couple months left this year, I've decided to both extend and expand my challenge: I will not buy anything new as long as I can, and I will highlight and reward companies that are going above and beyond in their commitments to people, planet, and profits.  

As part of the Business for Good series, each month on this blog I will highlight at least one company that is innovative, mission-driven, and socially- and/or environmentally-oriented. I will try to test out their product beforehand, give a summary of their business model and goals, and if possible, include links for discounts for you to try the products if interested, as well.

About the Company

Today I am profiling a company I first interacted with at the STORY conference: Eurasia Café. They provided the most delicious coffee each morning and talked to the attendees about their mission and vision as a company. The staff at the cafe even graciously obliged my many questions about their business model, philanthropic and religious partnerships, and history as a social business. 

Eurasia Café was founded in January 2011 and publicly launched in August 2011. Many months prior, a leadership team for Eurasia World Missions, a missionary group through the Assemblies of God denomination, brainstormed ways in which the need for missions could be woven into the fabric of church communities. The team developed the concept of Eurasia Café to engage people of faith in the movement for sustainability and social justice, as well as funding for missions. Eurasia Café supports a variety of social justice issues around the world, including extreme poverty, human trafficking, refugee displacement, HIV/AIDS, spiritual emptiness, education, and more.

Business Model

Eurasia Café is a nonprofit social enterprise that gives a percentage of its profits to charity and seeks to make our coffee and tea really count. The Café is the business arm of Eurasia Community, a religious organization focusing on training, sending, and supporting missionaries in the Eurasian region. The company partners with more than 400 field workers on the ground in 33 countries and territories, offering top-notch, direct-trade speciality coffee that is ethically grown and harvested.

For those of you interested in the detailed breakdown of giving, Eurasia Café gives:

  • $1 for every pound of Signature Eurasia Café coffee purchased
  • $2 for every pound of Eurasia Café’s “cause” coffee purchased
  • 10% of tea profits to local community organizations

Each “cause” or special blend of coffee is connected with a particular cause, from human trafficking to youth development to HIV/AIDS to spiritual emptiness. For instance, the Freedom Blend supports survivors of sex trafficking in Kolkata and Eurasia Café’s line of tea supports Kyrgyzstan Teen Challenge. You can learn more about the specific causes here.

Certifications

Eurasia Café is not certified fair trade, although they do work closely with on-the-ground community organizations that are certified for fair labor and living wages. They also provide wholesale coffee, meaning that they do not use middlemen who often jack up prices or use unscrupulous recruitment or labor practices to keep prices artificially low.

Product Review

The coffee I received was the Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice blend from their Life Blend series. I’m a big fan of flavored and seasonal coffees, and this was no exception. A medium roast, the cinnamon flavor was not overpowering and the overall texture was smooth and creamy as they described on the package. I typically drink dark roast, bold coffee, but I really enjoyed the lighter flavor and texture, especially for a cup in the morning. 

The particular pound of coffee I received was connected with the Life Center in Russia, a religiously-affiliated nonprofit drug rehab center that serves those affected by HIV/AIDS. The company donates $2 for every pound of coffee sold to the Life Center. As many of you know, I am a Russian speaker and lived for a semester during college in Russia. It holds a very near and dear place in my heart, even if those months in the St. Petersburg winter were some of the most challenging. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Life Center from this post on Eurasia Café’s blog.

Discounts

Eurasia Café is generously offering you readers a discount to try some of their delicious coffees and teas. To receive a 10% online discount, use this coupon code in the checkout process: MAKEYOURCOFFEECOUNT. But hurry -- the offer is only valid until November 30, 2012! 

Also, if your company, school, church, or nonprofit is interested in partnering with Eurasia Café, check out their Partners page for more information.

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What are your favorite eco-friendly, sustainable, or human rights-related coffee or tea companies? Are they free trade? Mission-oriented? Organic? Let me know in the comments! 

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Disclaimer: In accordance with FTC regulations, I will always disclose the conditions under which I have received products and any affiliate or discount links provided in the post. This for future reference in this business for good series as I do not have any affiliate links in this post. 

Photo Credit: Eurasia Cafe

Note: In the Business for Good series, I will include discounts or other offers if possible for you to also test out the products of the social business being highlighted. In this series and in any other circumstance on my blog, I only highlight companies that I have vetted and personally use or would use myself. The purpose of this series is not to snag free products or sell you anything, but to travel on this journey together to becoming better stewards of our money and purchases. I am researching companies like those highlighted in this series myself anyways, and it helps to share my knowledge and experiences with others who are interested in rewarding good companies.