You know how much I love coffee, right?
There was a time when my coffee order would be the most candybar-licious drink, with about five different squirts of various syrups, a big fluff of whipped cream, and a sprinkling of salted-but-slightly-sweetened magic dust that made my heart beat really fast all morning - all due to equal parts caffeine, sugar, and deep affection.
And I would order it this way every. single. day.
A few years ago, I knew that the long-term damage of drinking all my calories would be worse than dry shaving the bikini area, so I started changing up my order until the life was sucked right out of my cup of coffee, and - although I made-do for a while - I just couldn’t take it anymore.
As lifeless as it was, my coffee still had some half and half and just a little zip of sugar. Just a zzzt!
I started Weight Watchers back in January and I wanted to save as many points as possible for late in the day, which is when I feel all weak and tender and need snacks to nurture me through until morning.
I’ve spent the last few months experimenting with different artificial sweeteners, different creamers, faux half and half…., splashes of liquor. 🤷
Look. I don’t do drugs. I don’t smoke. I have two good things in my life: martinis and coffee.
I’m doing the best I can here. I’m trying to be the best version of my coffee-drinking self that I can possibly be.
But none of it tastes right.
I even made the single most bold statement I think I’ve ever made in my life this weekend when I said to Mark and I quote: “I think I’ve decided to give up coffee,” and he and my children simultaneously gasped dramatically, someone dropped a plate and it shattered to the ground, but nobody went to clean it up because they were all gathered around me, feeling my forehead and cradling me around the shoulders.
If I can’t have my coffee the way I want it, then I just don’t want it at all.
Here’s what happened next: I did not give up coffee.
I cut out everything but the coffee itself and I’ve been drinking it black.
Like a grown up.
I credit the new, but quickly up-and-coming coffee company called Tattered Beans for this, because when I decided I was going to give up coffee, a group of angels from all the heavens came together and were heard saying, “Oh no she is NOT giving up coffee,” and, “Can you imagine her trying to function without coffee in her life - on a daily basis?”, and they all FELL OUT LAUGHING, then covered their naughty mouths, pulled themselves together, and answered my cry for help, gently guiding me toward Tattered Beans’ delicious coffees.
Their coffee is rich and bold and smooth, and it really does go down so easily without any sweeteners or creamer. 🙌 (I played around with some of their different coffees and blended a few together because I was at the end of two bags, and it accidentally became my most favorite - check out the recipe at the end of this post!)
But - as delicious as they are - the coffee isn’t even the best part of the Tattered Beans brand.
This company’s mission is all about giving back to United States military veterans, except - unlike a lot of companies, who tout their support of veterans as a marketing tactic - Tattered Beans really does.
The company’s business model is built around literally giving back to veterans, in the form of dollars in their pockets.
I have such a soft spot in my heart for veterans, and it isn’t just because I get all swoony over a man in uniform.
You might not know, but my husband, Mark, is a US Marine Corps veteran and served in the Gulf War. Although I tease him by saying that all he did over there was play sand volleyball in his tiny shorts, I don’t really think that.
In my defense, there are an awful lot of pictures of these kinds of shenanigans. 🤔
We have a good, comfortable life, and we owe a lot of that to Mark’s military service, and to what he’s made of his life because of the military’s influence.
But so, so many of our veterans’ lives have not gone the same way.
And those are just the most extreme reasons our vets need support, but there are also more mundane daily needs - like basic medical care - they’re having a hard time getting met.
Tattered Beans was founded by Jason Jean, a United States Air Force veteran whose dream of being a military “lifer” was cut short by an injury.
An entrepreneur at heart, Jason created a coffee brand and became a cafe owner in central Pennsylvania, which gave him an opportunity to feed homeless veterans in his community.
But he wanted to do more.
In order to scale and have broader impact helping as many veterans as possible - and based on his research showing that 64% of Americans drink coffee every day - he knew that taking his coffee brand to the online space would be a no-brainer as a vehicle to help veterans far beyond what he could reach locally.
Tattered Beans coffees are roasted in Pennsylvania and sold only online so the company can keep overhead low and maximize what they give to vets.
Each bag is priced at $12, with $1 per bag going back to the company as profit, and $4 per bag going directly to a veteran or military branch of the customer’s choosing.
They actually cut checks to veterans every month.
I chatted with Jason and Tattered Beans team member, Amanda James, and asked them how the process works, from the customer’s standpoint:
“When a customer logs onto our website, TatteredBeans.com, they first select the veteran or military branch they want to shop under, then they choose their delicious coffee, and proceed to check out. Tattered Beans handles the rest!”
And then, from the veteran’s standpoint: “At the end of the month, we cut a check directly to the veterans that our customers shopped under. When our customer chooses a military branch because they might not know an individual veteran, we donate that money to a veteran or organization in our database from that military branch.”
I love this company’s transparency and what they stand for - the fact that they have great coffee AND do great things.
Here’s how you can get in on the action:
1.Order coffee from Tattered Beans
Logon to the Tattered Beans website, choose a veteran you’d like to donate to, and then buy some great coffee! It will be shipped directly to your door in the most scrumptious-smelling package you’ve ever received.
2.Submit yourself or a loved one as a veteran
Visit vets.tattteredbeans.com and fill out the form. That’s it!
There is only one requirement: the veteran must have been honorably discharged. Other than that, there are no restrictions.
“We are always building our veteran database so we can assist as many veterans as possible. Also, the veteran can choose whether they would like to directly receive the benefit, or if they would like to donate it to a veteran they know needs assistance or an organization they believe in that benefits veterans.”
I love Jason’s last quote there, because there are other vets like my husband, who may not have a need for donations, but the idea that he can still sign up and be the point person for collecting on behalf of someone else or a vet organization he believes in is incredible.