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November 11, 2020 47 min

So often in “specialty” food and coffee, those are being marketed to and those on the ground who is a commentary on who gets to indulge and who must labor. Reclaiming stories of origin helps erode the idea that those who labor are helpless, and ideally, should push us to ask, why those with the history, knowledge and craft are relying on consumers — who rarely share any of these attributes — are the ones who ultimately uphold these systems. Who it's for becomes a question that is open for interrogation, as we learn more about, "where it's from."

In this episode, we pay homage to coffee’s African origins and Black entrepreneurs and laborers across the supply chain, highlighting stories from Burundi to California. We begin with artist turned coffee entrepreneur Keba Konte of Red Bay coffee, a pioneering African American coffee roaster. Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian teaches us what makes Burundi an ideal coffee supplier and the unique challenges facing the women on the ground, and finally, we chat with Doug Hewitt of 1951 Coffee in Oakland, California, a nonprofit organization providing job training for refugees. Today on Point of Origin, it's Black Coffee.

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