Caribbrew is a coffee, tea, and chocolate company that offers premium products sourced and produced in Haiti. The mission-driven company was founded with two goals in mind: highlighting Haitian coffee, tea, and chocolate and reviving a once-thriving industry on the Island.
“Haitian coffee is making a comeback!” says owner Beverly Malbranche.
When Malbranche says comeback, she is referring to Haiti’s long history with coffee. Haitian coffee has been around since the colonial era, but the Haitian people have not always been the primary benefactor of the industry’s success. France was exporting and branding the coffee for its profits; of course, this stopped when Haiti got its independence in 1804. However, in freedom, Haiti was forced to pay a debt to France to be recognized as a county. The recognition was crucial because, without it, Haiti would be unable to trade with other countries.
“The idea of debt is absurd because they had no right to be there in the first place. Then we become independent, and we have to pay a debt?” Malbranche added.
In today’s money, the debt Haiti was required to pay equals about two billion dollars. It took the nation 21 years to pay off the sum, and while it was an impressive feat, the end result was that the people of Haiti suffered as the money they could have used to build their country was shipped abroad. As it turns out, coffee was the major export product that made the most money and made the debt payoff possible.
“I like to say we bought our independence with our coffee in a way because our coffee was our biggest export and very popular across Europe,” she said.
Although the profits went to France, Haiti continued to be one of the world’s biggest coffee suppliers until about the 1960s, when trade embargoes became a problem and significantly slowed down the industry. Soon coffee became a less and less popular crop for farmers to grow due to the effort it took and the small profits it returned.
Caribbrew has decided to lead the comeback of Haitian coffee because they want people to realize how much Haiti has always had to offer.
“We want people to help us make this comeback beneficial for everyone in the supply chain, starting with the farmers,” she emphasized.
Caribbrew’s business model is direct trade, meaning the brand has direct relationships with its farmers who produce their coffee and other products. This model ensures that the framers get a better income because it cuts out the “middle man.” Caribbrew’s supply chain is 100% Black-owned, from the farmers to the packaging and branding.
Caribbrew also makes chocolate items like hot chocolate and cacao nibs, made from Haitian cacao beans. Their cacao beans are also direct trade with a Black-owned supply chain.
Support Caribbrew today and save 15% sitewide with code WBBOCT15 until October 31st, 2021