By Scott Smith, Blog, March 2, 2018
As Christians, we just can’t afford to support Starbucks any longer. They actively oppose all our most cherished values. Not only that, the Starbucks logo has demonic origins.
An article I recently wrote about the Starbucks logo got a huge amount of attention. I was really surprised by the reaction – I thought most people already knew to avoid Starbucks. I remember one person commented on Facebook: “I know plenty of seminarians that drink Starbucks!”
One lady emailed me a really important question after reading the article …
Starbucks presents a problem for all of us coffee-lovers. If drinking Starbucks means that we are supporting something evil, where else can we go for delicious, over-priced coffee? What now?!
Thankfully, there are some good options out there. And maybe not so over-priced, too!
Wondering about Fair Trade options? Pro-Life coffee options? Or what about your local coffee shops? I address each of these below and also provide my own Christian rating for the different coffee chains and providers.
For starters, everybody on the following list – GRADE: A/A+.
THE NOT-NAUGHTY COFFEE LIST
First off, there’s …
MYSTIC MONK COFFEE
I have enjoyed Mystic Monk many times, myself. My wife is a big fan, too.
In a mountain valley in Wyoming, a small group of Carmelite Monks were looking for a way to support their growing community. After much discernment and prayer, the monks had the inspiration to start roasting coffee and selling the beans online. The first samples were roasted on a cast-iron skillet in the monastery kitchen and in 2007, Mystic Monk Coffee was born.
Here’s the link to their Dark Roast Arabica, as well as one of their flavored versions, Royal Rum Pecan (I like both, even if the Starbucks folks would look down their nose at flavored coffee, haha):
Many of the monks’ coffees are marked “Fair Trade,” as well. The monks also have a Cherry Hot Chocolate and a new “Pascha Java” for Easter.
ABBEY ROAST CATHOLIC COFFEE
The Benedictine Monks of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in New Mexico are happy to offer you 100% Gourmet Arabica Coffee carefully roasted in small batches in order to bring out the unique qualities of some of the best selected coffee.
This is how the monks describe their coffee:
Our prized, direct trade, Brazilian gourmet coffee is harvested from a small family-owned plantation located in the mountains of Nova Friburgo, Brazil, and was awarded first prize in the Rio de Janeiro Specialty Coffee Competition for quality. We are the exclusive importers of this acclaimed coffee.
Our hope is to offer you an exceptionally high quality, freshly roasted, coffee. All proceeds contribute to the expansion of our Monastery in order to receive the many vocations knocking on our doors.
We are most grateful for your purchase which greatly helps to support our growing monastic community. May God bless you eternally!
It seems that all of monks’ beans come direct from the producer in Brazil. This kind of direct partnership is one of the requirements for a Fair Trade designation. In fact, many of their roasts are certified “fair trade.”
Here are some of their options:
LIFEBOAT, A PRO-LIFE COFFEE COMPANY
Called the “Official Coffee of the People Who Love Life,” Lifeboat Coffee was founded on three amazing principles:
1. All human life is sacred, beautiful and deserving of protection from natural conception until natural death. No exceptions & no compromise.
2. Our coffees must be ethically sourced, sustainable and of superior quality and taste.
3. We’ll give 10% of every purchase* back to YOUR favorite life-affirming charity.
John Lillis, the founder of Lifeboat Pro-Life Coffee, is the father of seven children and is affectionately called “The Skipper.” John is himself a survivor of abortion, as his mother was a teenage victim of rape. He was born on August 30, 1967, just months after the California legislature passed the Therapeutic Abortion Act. Though abandoned as a newborn in a San Francisco hospital, he was eventually put into a foster home and adopted.
John also recently opened “America’s first exclusively pro-life coffee shop” on January 22, 2017 – a significant date – at 7th and Dunlap in Phoenix, Arizona.
Check out Lifeboat’s full line of pro-life coffees at their website.
RIVER ROAD COFFEES
Here’s a local Louisiana favorite! River Road supports most all of the ministries I know of in our area. They provide free coffee for our Men of the Immaculata Catholic men’s conference, as well as Catholic Community Radio.
John Melancon started this family business over twenty years ago. River Road is the first certified organic locally-owned coffee roaster in the Baton Rouge area. They even have an “emergency hotline” that you can call in the event of an unexpected coffee emergency – such as when the Starbucks logo starts staring back at you. They will go out of their way to rush-deliver a new batch or emergency supplies if needed.
My wife and I usually drink their French Roast, the “dark” roast option. You can visit River Road Coffees online here.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER MAJOR COFFEE CHAINS?
Nationally-speaking, Dunkin Donuts is the most prolific coffee shop chain after Starbucks. Check out this map of the biggest coffee shop chains. The map show the most common coffee shop in the given county. Not surprisingly, the two largest chains are Starbucks (574 counties) and Dunkin Donuts (399 counties), followed by Tim Hortons, Caribou, and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
So what about Dunkin’ Donuts? Is it as nefariously anti-Christian as Starbucks?
IS DUNKIN’ DONUTS PRO-LIFE? RESPECTFUL OF CHRISTIAN VALUES?
I grew up a big fan of Dunkin’ Donuts. My grandparents lived on Cape Code in Massachusetts. Every morning, my Grandpa would have a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a cake donut. For me, there’s still no better way to drink a cup of coffee … except for any coffee that I drink with my wife.
So, please let Dunkin’ Donuts be not-evil!
What’s the verdict?
In 2015, a Dunkin’ Donuts press release announced the following:
We feel strongly about women’s health and want to stand in solidarity with the millions of women across the country who deserve the right to choose. That’s why we’re giving one Dunkin’ Donuts customer a complimentary abortion, which will be performed by a licensed physician in one of our more than 8,000 U.S. locations.
We’ll be taking all measures to ensure the environment will be sterile and completely safe for the procedure… In addition, the patient will receive a free egg and cheese sandwich and a medium coffee.
A complimentary abortion and a breakfast sandwich??? Not only is this offer blatantly immoral, it trivializes the trauma of abortion by serving it alongside a breakfast sandwich.
Thankfully, this crazy story appears to have been satire written in poor taste. The article, as well as the “press release,” came from ClickHole, which is associated with the parody newspaper, The Onion.
Shame on ClickHole, nevertheless, for trivializing abortion in this way.
I’m so relieved to hear that Dunkin’ Donuts has been spared this black mark. Not guilty!
In fact, many Christians have actually turned to Dunkin’ Donuts in the wake of the “Great Starbucks Christmas Coffee Cup Controversy of 2015,” along with the rest of Starbucks’ “basket of deplorables.”
2ndVote has nothing to report, good or bad, regarding Dunkin’ Donuts stance on life issues.
Dunkin’ Donuts does appear to support traditional family values. Sort of. Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t fare too well in a 2008 study by PlanetOut which purports to quantify “gay-friendliness.”
Along with Wal-Mart and Exxon-Mobil, Dunkin’ Donuts was called one of the least gay-friendly companies in America, which, at least according to PlanetOut’s metrics, is a plus in my book. Bravo and Apple were among the most gay-friendly companies – not exactly “good company” to be in.
To score well in PlanetOut’s study, a company needed to feature a sufficient amount of gay people in their advertisements. In other words, to score well, a company would need to actively promote the normalization of gay culture.
Dunkin’ Donuts passes, but only for being neutral. For a lack of positive support of life and family values, Dunkin Donuts gets a …
DUNKIN’ DONUTS – GRADE: C+
IS TIM HORTONS PRO-LIFE? RESPECTFUL OF CHRISTIAN VALUES?
Tim Hortons is known for promoting local participation in sports and family values. Based on the cultural war skirmishes described below, it appears the company is trying to stay neutral, despite often siding with traditional and Christian values.
In 2017, Tim Hortons ran a commercial entitled “Perfect Pairings” which featured the food combinations of several couples, including a mother-daughter, sisters, and two gay men. LifeSiteNews described this as yet another attempt to normalize homosexuality.
Despite advocating for this distorted version of “inclusion,” more often than not, it seems Tim Hortons has been criticized by the gay community.
Tim Hortons came under fire for donating 250 cups of free coffee in 2009
for a “Marriage and Family Day” in Rhode Island hosted by the National Organization for Marriage
, a great supporter of traditional marriage. The company stated the sponsorship was a violation of the company’s policy not to sponsor events “representing religious groups, political affiliates, or lobby groups.”
Management in Ontario was forced to apologize in 2011 after kicking out a lesbian couple from one of their restaurants after they were found making out.
Back in June 2014, A Tim Hortons in Columbus, Ohio served as the site of a rally
co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood
and the Democratic Women’s Caucus.
When asked whether this indicated Tim Hortons’ support of Planned Parenthood, the company responded with the following:
“Our Coffee Truck was at an event in Columbus that supported women in business. During this event there happened to be pro-life protestors on the site at the same time. I would like to stress that these two events are unrelated and that Tim Hortons has no direct involvement in this event.”
Though this is mostly corporate-talk, it does seem like Tim Hortons responded by distancing itself from Planned Parenthood. Not great, but not bad.
So what’s the bottom-line?
Let’s say this, Tim Hortons is a far cry from Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, which proudly display their support of evil. They’re not bad, especially for a Canadian company.
TIM HORTONS – GRADE: C+
IS CARIBOU COFFEE PRO-LIFE? RESPECTFUL OF CHRISTIAN VALUES?
If you’re from the north central part of the country, especially around Minnesota, you might be wondering about the stance of Caribou coffee on abortion, traditional marriage, and Christian values.
As recently as 2017, Caribou Coffee partners with Susan G. Komen, which continues to fund Planned Parenthood programs, according to 2nd Vote
Basically, a positive for HRC is a negative for a Christian.
The HRC dinged Caribou Coffee for its lack of “organizational LGBT cultural competency (diversity trainings, resources or accountability measures)” – that’s a plus here. However, Caribou Coffee also received no negative points for “engages in action that would undermine the goal of LGBT equality,” as well as positive points for providing health care for gay partners and “medically necessary” transgender care – these are minuses here.
While a score of 85 on the HRC index is definitely too high, it appears that Caribou Coffee is currently striving for higher ratings. Back in 2012, Caribou Coffee only scored a 15. Clearly, Caribou Coffee is on the wrong trajectory.
Lastly and bit more anecdotally, it appears that Caribou Coffee supported a gay pride event
in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2008, as described by Dr. Michael Brown
. Ironically, when asked to sponsor a pro-family event, Lauren Mihhajlov, Director of Brand Marketing at Caribou Coffee, stated that the company couldn’t include
a sponsorship of the family event due to their continued attempts to be more inclusive
CARIBOU COFFEE – GRADE: D
WHAT ABOUT MY LOCAL COFFEE SHOPS?
In Louisiana, we have plenty of Starbucks-alternative coffee shops. But what if you live somewhere that’s not so friendly to Christians? What if you live where things like this happen?
According to PJ Media, the owner of the coffee shop did the following:
As way of a brief refresher, while taking a break and enjoying some coffee at Seattle’s Bedlam Coffee, a group of Christians were accosted by Ben Borgman, the co-owner of the shop. Prior to their coffee break, the group had been peacefully distributing pro-life literature around the city. Upon discovering their identity, Borgman angrily demanded that they leave. When the group politely asked why, the shop owner became angrier and accused them of spreading hate.
Holding up a pamphlet that he found outside of the shop, he cussed at them, refused to engage in dialogue, and then uttered a vile blasphemy against Jesus while forcing them to leave. The pro-life group politely left while attempting to share the gospel with the man. It needs to be noted that they were not distributing pamphlets inside the coffee shop, nor were they proselytizing — until they were being kicked out, that is. The fact is, the coffee shop owner was responding to who they are, not what they were doing.
Unfortunately, some hailed this crazy coffee shop owner as a hero.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF MY COFFEE SHOP IS PRO-ABORTION OR ANTI-CHRISTIAN?
Whether your local coffee shop is pro-life or pro-abortion, anti-Christians, etc. can sometimes be difficult to determine. While Starbucks is a more blatant example, ascertaining a company’s evil and insidious quotient can be tricky, especially if they’re concealing their actions.
Life Decisions International does provide a list of all companies who donate money to Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.
The best way to find out? Ask. Please ask your local shops!
And please let me know! I’ll post what you find right here, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Please share and comment!
 From the Mystic Monk website: https://www.mysticmonkcoffee.com/
 From the Abbey Roast website: https://www.abbeyroast.com/
 From the River Road Coffees website: https://www.riverroadcoffees.com/
 “Mapped: The largest coffee chains in the US” at Matador network.
 Read more about the angry coffee shop owner’s rampage here.
 Dunkin’ Donuts’ complimentary abortion and breakfast sandwich.
Read more at:
Catholic Coffee Alternatives from A Catholic Life.
Read more about Lifeboat coffee here.