Oakland is home to Red Bay Coffee, one of our guest coffee roasters this month. Oakland and thus Red Bay, are situated directly between two massive California fires that is currently burning hundreds of thousands of acres. Unfortunately, these fires are both under 30% contained at the time of posting this. Thousands are being forced to evacuate and are dealing with poor, and in some places, hazardous air quality.
Minor Figures will be donating all proceeds of Red Bay coffee sales on our webshop to the Disaster Relief efforts through California Fire Foundation. Please support local business and disaster relief efforts if you are able to.
Red Bay Coffees
Despite the sh*tty hand they've been dealing with lately, Red Bay still managed to take some time to answer questions I sent them. Read below:
MF: Tell us about the coffee scene where you’re based.
RB: I opened my first cafe (Guerilla Cafe) in Berkeley, California in 2006 as the first cafe wholesale account of Blue Bottle Coffee Company. This was before the term “third wave” was coined by Trish Rothgeb. Eight years later in 2014 I established Red Bay Coffee in one of the most competitive coffee scenes in the country. The bar was high and I knew a righteous mission and beautiful branding alone was not going to be enough to compete. The coffee had to be damn good. Steel sharpens steel.
I also knew good coffee alone, even damn good coffee was not the formula for success. I followed my heart and created a mission-driven coffee brand that centered beauty as an organizing principle. Beautiful relations, beautiful coffee and beautiful community. Red Bay Coffee has become the most diverse coffee team in the Bay Area and perhaps in the country. I am deeply touched by the support we have received by the broader coffee community of roasters, baristas and coffee professionals. It is truly a beautiful community.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, raised two daughters in Oakland and cherish the Bay Area as the best place on earth.
MF: Favorite way(s) to start your morning? (be as detailed as you’d like)
RB: Start my morning with a good breakfast, watching/listening to the news; these days; grab a cup of coffee once I get to roastery; Iced Mochas or our signature Iced Charcoal Latte are my go to drinks this summer.
MF: You walk into a coffee shop, what’re you ordering?
RB: Outside of our shop, I’ll order an Americano.
MF: Do you have any coffee tattoos? If so, tell us about it/them and if not, would you ever get one?
RB: No coffee or other tattoos; I rather enjoy and appreciate the artwork on others.
MF: We have to ask, favorite coffee mug? (feel free to include a photo)
RB: We have partnered with local artist Brooklynne Ceramics - love the aesthetic, size and feel of these beautiful creations.