Porter House KC founders team up with Messenger to create black-owned coffee brand

BDrip Coffee brewed out of a desire to bring coffee culture to historically disenfranchised and underserved communities, said Charon Thompson and Daniel Smith.

“It’s more than coffee,” noted Smith, who co-founded the brand, Black filter coffeeas good as Doorman House KC with Thompson. “We always talk about breaking down barriers and creating opportunity through The Porter House. We drink coffee all the time, so why not have our own bean? Why not have our own blend?

Black filter coffee

What is the Porter House KC?

The Porter House KC is an organization dedicated to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in underserved populations, primarily: people interested in starting a business, startups and new products; and existing small businesses that are up to two years old.

“Part of the reason we do a lot of the things we do with Porter House KC is to show people they have the ability to do the things they dream of,” Dan Smith said. “It’s not about ‘Is it possible?’ It’s about knowing what role we have to play to do it and do it right.

New to the intricacies of the coffee world, the duo first needed a starting point. Thompson’s home became an early, albeit unsuccessful, contender, he recalls.

“I was trying to roast coffee at home – it didn’t work,” Thompson said with a laugh. “I had the smell of burnt popcorn in my house for a few weeks.”

In an attempt to find a local roaster, Thompson searched LinkedIn — ultimately coming across Isaac Hodges, the vice president of sales at FairWave Coffee Collective, which includes the Messenger Coffee and The Roasterie brands.

Hodges and David Weber, a seller of Messenger Coffee, met with duo The Porter House to discuss what starting a coffee bean brand would look like, Hodges recalls.

Isaac Hodges, Messenger Coffee Co., FairWave Coffee Collective

Isaac Hodges, Messenger Coffee Co., FairWave Coffee Collective

“It was during this in-person meeting that we saw something unique and really impactful behind the vision of Black Drip Coffee,” Hodges said, explaining that it’s part of Messenger’s philosophy to help partners they believe in. “…When a new coffee shop or business wants to open and use our coffee, the only thing they pay for is the coffee itself. whether it’s helping to design a bar for them or explaining what an income statement for a cafe might look like.”

Click on here to learn more about Messenger Coffee’s union with the FairWave Coffee Collective.

With the help of people from messenger coffeethe duo launched Black Drip Coffee in mid-April.

“This was all new to us,” Smith said. “Part of the reason we do what we do is because you don’t know if anything can happen unless you just try. For that, Messenger has really supported us by mentoring us in this Black business. Drip.

Black Drip Coffee’s goal is to partner with local businesses and cafes that align with their mission and sell their coffee beans in these spaces, the pair said.

“The first place we are looking to sell is The Black Pantry [founded by] Brian Roberts,” noted Thompson. “And then we will try to partner with Aya Coffee + Books once [Jahna Riley] opens.

Click on here to buy Black Drip coffee.

Click on here to learn more about The Black Pantry’s first physical storefront.

Click on here to learn more about Aya Coffee + Books.

Tamp the coffee

Arriving at the first true iteration of Black Drip Coffee, Thompson and Smith joined in a coffee tasting – a tasting technique that assesses a blend’s sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel and aftertaste. .

Black Drip Cups at Messenger Coffee Co.

“We were excited about coffee for a long time because we tasted so many different things,” Smith said. “It was a really cool experience for us. David and Isaac are phenomenal when it comes to teaching people about coffee and grades and all that other stuff that goes with it.

In future coffee mugs, the Black Drip team hopes to invite a small group of others to share the experience, they said.

“It’s a vibe,” Smith said. “The one we hope to bring to people we know traditionally don’t experience these types of coffee vibes and lessons.”

The first blend of Black Drip Coffee is a combination of beans from Guatemala, Brazil and Colombia.

“It’s a really approachable, all-day-drinking type of coffee,” Hodges explained. “It’s great in black, gray with cream and sugar if you need it. I think they managed to choose the cafes.

The tasting process is done on a weekly basis to ensure that all of the components that go into a blend don’t age, Hodges noted.

“So [Messenger] will always ensure that [Black Drip] the coffees taste great,” Hodges said, noting that Messenger will also handle packaging and shipping logistics for Black Drip Coffee.

Check out some behind-the-scenes clips of the Cupping Tasting Technique below, then keep scrolling!

Mixed with hip hop

Product names for each Black Drip Coffee blend will be based on hip hop music, The Porter House team noted.

“Our first mix that’s been released now is called ‘Renegade,'” Smith said. “It’s an ode to the Eminem and Jay Z song, ‘Renegade.'”

Black Drip Coffee also pays tribute to Thompson’s younger brother, John Timothy Wilson III, who loved rap and died in 2019. The duo’s slogan “Coffee for the Culture” represents sharing the experience of drinking coffee with the family and community, they explained.

“I’ve always wanted to do something special in my younger brother’s name,” Thompson explained. “His rap name was Cultourzzs so I knew we had to do Black Drip for the culture.”

This story is possible thanks to the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundationa private, nonpartisan foundation that works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create unusual solutions and empower people to shape their future and succeed.

For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and log in to www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn

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