I just can’t believe the timing. In the last two weeks, I’ve seen three separate intersections between ministry and coffee. It’s almost freaky. And it might be enough for me to change where I get my coffee.
It all started with a tweet
…and a Facebook post.
A ministry-related podcaster friend of mine entered a contest to win free coffee for a year. For each person who entered the contest through one of his links, his chances of winning increased. I was intrigued by the possibility of free coffee. I mean, who doesn’t want to win free coffee for a year? OK, don’t answer that. I know some that wouldn’t.
I signed up for the contest and shared my tweet and facebook post, too. While sharing the link, I said the contest was “worth a try until I find the right ministry-driven coffee seller.”
I actually had a ministry-driven coffee seller in mind when I wrote that. But it was not the one I’m going to mention next.
Support Edify Hub with coffee
No, no. Sorry. I’m not asking you to buy me coffee. I’m just introducing the next intersection of coffee and ministry that touched me during these past couple of weeks. But this part of the story actually starts about a year ago.
At a Chick-Fil-A race raising funds for a local pregnancy resource center, I met folks from Phoenix Community Coffee Company. Their passion for supporting ministry through the purchase of their coffee was compelling. I signed up for a storefront for Edify Hub and bought some coffee.
I intended to promote this arrangement quite heavily on the Lift Up podcast and on the Edify Hub website. But something happened shortly afterwards that made me change my mind. I’ll share that in just a bit, but first, let me explain what happened this week.
As I’m writing this, I’m staring at a check from Phoenix Community Coffee Company that I received today. After practically a year of absolutely nothing – no promotion, no activity, no conversation, no sales – completely out of the blue, somebody bought coffee through Edify Hub’s storefront link. I have no idea how they found it, but just today (as I’m writing) a check arrived. What an encouragement and surprise that was!
Other than this article and the one on our Affiliate Disclosure page, I don’t intend to do much more promotion with that arrangement, because of the third intersection of coffee and ministry in these two weeks.
Support missions through coffee
Two days after I shared that free coffee contest on Facebook, I got an email from a missionary friend announcing the very ministry-driven coffee seller I had been waiting for.
Biblical Ministries Worldwide (BMW) has now announced their Coffee Helping Missions program. Through this partnership with Twin Valley Coffee, 100% of the profits on coffee purchased through www.CoffeeHelpingMissions.com go to support missions work. 75% helps with BMW’s evangelistic community development project in Indonesia, and the remaining 25% goes directly to support the BMW missionary of your choice.
I already know which missionary I’ll choose to support with my coffee purchases.
A tale of two roasters
Phoenix Community Coffee Company (PCCC) and Coffee Helping Missions (CHM) have similar perspectives on coffee fundraising, but there are some differences that affect the purchasing experience.
What They Sell
- Regular or Decaf: PCCC offers a decaf option for most of their coffees. CHM has a decaffeinated version of their Costa Rica variety. CHM’s roaster, Twin Valley Coffee, does offer decaffeinated varieties of their flavored coffees, so I am hopeful that Coffee Helping Missions will eventually include the same options.
- Ground or Whole: Both companies offer a choice of whole bean or ground. PCCC adds four different options in exactly how the coffee is ground.
- Varieties: Both companies offer various blends, single-source coffees, and flavored varieties. Only CHM offers my favorite coffee, Sumatra. CHM also offers most of their beans still green in 1.5 lb. or 5 lb. bags, for those who choose to roast their own coffee. (Really? That sounds like too much work for me!)
- Sizes: Both companies offer 12 oz. bags. CHM also offers 5 lb. bags, as well as single-serve cups (in a box of 12) and single-pot “fractional packs” in 2 oz. or 6 oz. size.
Who they support
- PCCC forms affiliate relationships with a variety of ministries, including Edify Hub.
- CHM is a partnership between Twin Valley Coffee and Biblical Ministries Worldwide (BMW), dedicated specifically to supporting BMW missionaries and projects.
How much they support
- PCCC contributes $3 for each 12 oz. bag of coffee purchased.
- CHM contributes 100% of their profits, with the exact amount varying with each item. Your shopping cart tells you exactly how much your purchase will contribute to your selected missionary, and how much goes towards BMW’s Indonesia ministry. 12 oz. bags contribute just over $2 each.
How much they charge
- PCCC charges either $12.95 or $13.95 for each 12 oz. bag of coffee, depending on the variety.
- CHM’s coffee comes in a variety of prices, ranging from $9.00 to $11.50 per 12 oz. bag. What I found surprising was that some of the options were actually less expensive than the same coffee at Twin Valley Coffee’s primary commercial site.
How They Deliver
For both companies, shipping starts out pretty high. In order to avoid spending almost as much on shipping as you do on coffee, you’ll want to place larger orders – perhaps less frequently.
- PCCC has a flat shipping rate of $8 when you purchase one or two bags, or free shipping with the purchase of three or more bags. Those living near Duluth, Georgia may also choose to pick up their coffee on-site and avoid shipping costs altogether.
- CHM offers a variety of shipping options. A single 12 oz. bag starts at just over $7, delivered via USPS Priority Mail. Each additional item does increase the total shipping cost, but not significantly. Increasing the order to six bags brings the shipping cost to just over $10 delivered via UPS Ground. Free shipping is not an option, but with the difference in price per bag between CHM and PCCC, the total order can still be less expensive through CHM.
Will this become my new coffee?
I’ll find out.
My current coffee, a store-brand (yes, really) Sumatra variety that I love, is significantly cheaper per bag than either of these ministry-minded coffee sellers. And the ministries these coffee sellers support will receive less than half of the difference in price when shipping costs are included.
If supporting missions is my only purpose in switching coffees, I’ll be more effective keeping my current brand and donating the difference directly to missions.
What would make me buy from these sellers?
- Many times when I’m looking for a good cup of coffee (or iced coffee), I really don’t want the caffeine. I haven’t yet found a great-tasting decaf. If CHM’s Costa Rica decaf turns out to be amazing, I’d start with that.
- If I find a variety that tastes better than my current Sumatra, that might be enough for me to switch. I’m rather fond of my store-brand coffee, though, so this will be a tough match.
- The break room at my office has several single-serving brewing machines, but the decaf cups disappear rather quickly. I can see myself keeping a “Coffee Helping Missions” box — branded with Matt. 28:16-20 and full of decaf single-serving cups — on the top of my desk. Then I’ll always have decaf available, and the box on the desk could be a conversation starter with my co-workers.
- Finally, would I really end up calculating the difference between the two coffees and donating it to missions? Couldn’t I increase my donation to missions and still choose to get great coffee through CoffeeHelpingMissions.com?
Maybe you’re not as enthralled with a store-brand coffee as I am.
Maybe you’re involved with the “Coffee Corner” at your church, and you’re looking to offer a wide variety of options to your guests.
Check out the options at Phoenix Community Coffee Company and Coffee Helping Missions to see if any of their offerings would interest you. You could have a world-wide ministry impact when you drink great coffee.