July 24, 2020
Black-Owned Coffee in Indianapolis
We curated a list of Indy’s Black-owned coffee shops, roasters, and coffee-adjacent cafes. Check them all out because they’re all amazing – and also all owned by women! (Who really should be running everything by now, tbh.)
Community. Community. Community.
‘Community’ is one of the guiding principles of the Indianapolis Coffee Guide and has been since before it started.
Being part of a community means celebrating everyone and amplifying all voices who contribute to the community. It means celebrating our differences and diverse perspectives.
It took me a while to make this list of Black-owned coffee shops in Indianapolis for a few reasons. First, it just took time to find them and learn from them. Second, I had to reflect on ‘why’ I wanted to make this list outside of everyone sliding into my DMs to ask me for it. It also took me even longer because I wanted to find more.
So here are Indy’s black-owned coffee shops, roasters, and coffee-adjacent cafes. Check them all out because they’re all amazing – and also all owned by women! (Who really should be running everything by now, tbh.)
Tea’s Me Cafe
I’ve always loved going to Tea’s Me Cafe. My husband doesn’t drink coffee, and I’m constantly dragging him to coffee shops. So when we go to Tea’s Me, it always feels like a special occasion. Part of that is his excitement, part of that is the seemingly endless selection of tea, but really it’s because of the community Tamika Catchings has created since she bought Tea’s Me in 2016. Granted, it was already a small community hub, but she really made it golden (you know, like everything else she touches).
Honestly, I knew Tamika has made a big impact on Indy but I didn’t realize the gravity of her Beyoncé-ness until I wrote an article for Indy Maven about women-owned coffee shops in Indianapolis. The woman should have her own parade, a monument, a museum, or all of the above.
How to Support Tea’s Me Cafe
Tea’s Me is open for online & curbside ordering. And I believe they are still shipping bulk tea orders from online. Find out more on their Instagram: @teasmeindy
Circadian Coffee Roasters
I hate introducing myself to anyone, especially in crowded public spaces. But I knew I had to say hi to the smiling faces behind Circadian Coffee when I first saw their booth at a local coffee event in 2017. So I did it. I introduced myself & this little Coffee Guide and tried their coffees.
You try a lot of mediocre coffees at coffee events, but I was blown away by the flavor of their coffees. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it’s the only time I’ve ever gotten 2 bags of beans from the same roaster at one of these events.
I appreciate their approach to coffee, which is keeping it simple. They believe the only right way to drink and prepare coffee is the way that tastes good to you. I can definitely get behind that. (Especially since I’m drinking some of their coffee as I write this.)
How to Support Circadian
Listen, they are not a coffee shop! They are a roaster! However, their roastery DOES do pre-order pickups through their drive-thru window. Whaaat?? I know. So order online for shipping or check out their Instagram for more information: @circadiancoffee
Perk Up Café
Perk Up Café is on The Monon in Broad Ripple, but it still feels like it’s off-the-beaten-path in the very best way. I’m here to tell you that it is one of the most unique coffee experiences in Indy. And when you hear about who’s running it, you’ll love it like I do.
Perk Up has been around since 2004, but in 2009 it was purchased by its 2 current owners, Jeanette Footman and Alice Matsuo. Jeanette is Black German and from Berlin and Alice is Brazilian Japanese from São Paulo. CAN YOU IMAGINE all of the experiences they have that we don’t?
Alice was trained in Germany as an artisan baker and created all of the bread recipes for Perk Up while Jeanette is responsible for the pastries. And to top it off, they roast their own coffee in-house. Perk Up is also the only shop in Indy (that we know of) that uses a manual, three-lever espresso machine. OH OKAY. NO BIG DEAL.
How to Support Perk Up
Besides following them on Instagram (@perkup.brotgarten), Perk Up Café is open for to-go service right off the Monon in Broad Ripple.
Support These Amazing Local Companies
Listen, I don’t need to tell you why it’s important to support these businesses. ‘Coffee’ as you and I know it is a predominantly (re: almost completely) White™️ space even though outside of cafes it is the exact opposite. Without BIPOC, you wouldn’t be drinking your coffee right now.
Seriously. Look at the origin on any coffee bag. I just opened my coffee cabinet: Colombia, Congo, East Timor, Peru, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, and so many more. Coffee isn’t white. But that’s a different conversation for a different day. (Get ahead on that convo by following @cxffeeblack on Instagram.)
Listen. All I’m trying to say is: One different voice can make more change than a room full of the same voices. And we value these voices in our community. We lift up the unique voices so we can all hear them.
And last, I would like to give the most thanks to Tea’s Me, Perk Up, and Circadian for talking to me about your amazing experiences and letting me ask you all of these personal questions. You all are amazing, and I am so happy you are here and part of this community.
The Indianapolis Coffee Guide
The Indianapolis Coffee Guide is the best way to explore & discover the amazing local coffee scene in Indy. To read more about how we’re doing as a community, I’d love for you to check out The State of Coffee in Indianapolis. It’s a long one, so I’d read it over a cup of coffee. 😉