The Sustainability of Local Coffee in St. Pete


Olivia Moore

Gretel Gliem a cashier at local coffee shop Kahwa Coffee.

7:25 is way too early in the morning to be up, let alone attending school. Many students show up with a coffee in hand to keep their eyes open. Starbucks and Dunkin are noticeably common choices, but there are amazing local coffee shops in every direction from the school. This choice not only makes each sip of coffee better but also benefits the environment.

One great option is Kahwa Coffee. Kahwa is a chain across Florida, but it was started here by local owners, Sarah and Raphael Perrier. There are locations all over St. Pete. Not only are you getting great coffee, but you are also getting sustainable coffee. Kahwa uses 100% recyclable bags and cups. Believe it or not, the “plastic cups are made of corn” as Natalie Moore informed me. They source their coffee beans from various sustainable locations around the world. Kahwa is also a great study spot. They build their shops in pre-existing buildings in St. Pete which creates a unique and sustainable location. Morning coffee with Kahwa is a great way to contribute to their positive efforts in the community. Soon they plan on opening a Drive Thru location made out of shipping containers.

Another great local coffee shop to support is Black Crow Coffee. Black Crow is an environmentally-minded business that makes sustainable efforts in the community. Being recognized as a zero-waste business, they “divert 90% of their waste from the landfill” as stated on their website. They do this through their curbside compost and recycling. Black Crow offers an extremely unique environment for a study session and delicious coffee for a much-needed energy boost.

If you come from the east side of the school in the mornings, you can look into Foxtail Coffee. Foxtail is a local coffee shop that sources ethically and sustainably. They make sure that workers at the “environmentally-friendly farms” they source their beans from Mexico, Colombia, Ethiopia, and even Guatemala.  The producers “are paid fair wages” as their website details. The shop offers a very cozy environment and a rustic feel. If that’s your kind of style, try a study date there. Never any harm in trying something new, especially when supporting local businesses and sustainability.

St. Pete is full of unique coffee locations with environment-minded goals. Check out your local coffee shops and look into their community involvement. You might as well do a little to help the environment in the form of a delicious coffee. Also, it is likely you’ll find a new favorite coffee shop. However, be careful, because Dunkin might not cut it anymore.