Featured Woman Roaster: Jillian
Here at Spinn, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jillian, the woman founder of Everyday People Coffee and Tea. Since 2018, Everyday People Coffee and Tea; a women-owned company, located in Washington D.C. has created a coffee & tea company that was not only majorly single origin but also adheres to eco-friendly sustainable practices ensuring the farmers and farm productions are provided equitable wages to sustain a livelihood that depends on the coffee and tea trade. Everyday People Coffee and Tea is ethically sourced, sustainably grown, and roasted in small batches in the US. Let’s get a more in-depth view from Jillian’s lens of being a Woman Coffee Roaster for Everyday People Coffee and Tea.
We know that being a woman in the coffee industry is not easy. What made you decide to get involved and start Everyday People?
J | I started Everyday People Coffee & Tea because I noticed a gap within our community in providing specialty coffee. The majority of people within our community were not aware of the various types of coffee and the accessibility they have to them. Specialty coffee is often considered “a premium” . We wanted to change that perception and make specialty coffee available for everyone, especially in black and brown communities.
What progress have you seen over the course of your career and where do you hope to see the industry progressing over the next 5-10 years?
J | I’ve seen a huge progress in the visibility of women within the coffee industry from baristas to women owned coffee farms, producers and roasters. There’s still more work to be done but within the next 5-10 years my hope is that not only will the advancement of women in the coffee industry continues but that we also a start recognizing the importance of wage increase/ coffee prices we pay in supporting our coffee producers around the world whose livelihood is dependent upon the trade
What advice would you give to a woman looking to get started in the coffee business?
J | Research and learn from other women within the coffee industry. I was very grateful to have a woman mentor who not only offered the most invaluable advice but also networked and connected me with women coffee producers/ farms around the globe in search of my first green coffee.
What is your favorite mid afternoon coffee and snack pairing?
J | Our Bali Blue Moon dark roast and a small slice of coffee cake
What would you think the biggest misconception about coffee is?
J | That coffee, specifically specialty coffee, is only available for a certain “crowd”. No, coffee is for everyone. From the varieties of origins to the different types of roast and the variability of brew methods. Everyone should enjoy a nice cup of coffee.
You work with women coffee producers for your coffee, tell us some of the things you’ve learned about their challenges at origin?
J | One thing I learned that was most humbling to me is that women coffee farmers in some of the top producing coffee countries are still unable to attain the funds or even rights necessary to own lands, make legal business decisions, or use their experience to advance their business. Many women coffee farmers remain distanced from the profitable parts of the process.
Sexual abuse, unequal pay to men and having longer workdays than men are common challenges amongst women farmers at origin.
What is your favorite part about being involved in the coffee industry?
J | Learning about the farms we interact and work with, their family history of their coffee farms and the historical context of the origin of coffee in their country
Which Everyday People coffee is your current favorite on the Spinn Marketplace and how do you like to brew it?
J | My current favorite is the Papua New Guinea roast brewed in a moka pot.