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Black-Owned “California Coffee Company” Celebrates Coffee’s Connection to the African Diaspora

Los Angeles, CA – This February, in commemoration of Black History Month, Rhasaan Nichols announced the official launch of California Coffee Company, a Black-owned coffee company based in Southern California. An Ivy League graduate, Nichols discovered a passion for storytelling while studying pre-med at Yale. Switching from medicine to movies, Rhasaan cultivated his passion for storytelling, focusing on cultural issues and the human experience. Five years ago, he moved to Los Angeles and shortly thereafter fell in love with the rich history of the Black-Angelino community and their unrelenting pursuit of the California Dream. This passion birthed an award-winning documentary, Walking on Water: a Brief History on Black Surfers.  His research on Black surfing communities led him to Brazil where the idea for “California Coffee Company” was born. A lover of history, and coffee, Rhasaan began to recognize the industry’s disparities from the bottom to the top. He intends to change that. 

“Much like surfing, when most people think of coffee, they may not immediately think of Black people. I want to change that,” said Nichols. “The people at the top of the industry… do not look like the planters. I want to change that as well. ” Like people of African American heritage, the coffee bean is also native to Africa. Rhasaan believes his morning coffee ritual helps him feel more connected to his brothers and sisters throughout the African Diaspora; from coffee growers in South America and East Africa to consumers and aficionados around the world. 

The Single Origin Collection of California Coffee Company currently consists of five different roasts, each representing different regions across the globe: Addis Ababa (a natural brew named after the capital city of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, is the perfect light roast with smooth notes of milk chocolate, fruit and caramel); Bahia (once the original capital of Brazil and home to the largest population of people of African descent outside of The Continent, this medium roast has notes of cocoa as elegant and smooth as the people that inhabit its namesake city); Canggu (originating from Indonesia, this roast contains notes of dark chocolate, molasses and brown sugar, mimicking the rich hues and tones of the Diaspora itself); Oaxaca (one of the most highly concentrated areas of Mexico with an Afro-Mexican population, this brew has notes of chocolate, cinnamon and green apple); and “Saan” Sumatra (also originating from Indonesia and the Founder’s Favorite, this rich and bold medium dark roast has a smooth chocolate finish).

Roasted in partnership with Temecula Coffee Roasters, “California Coffee Company will serve as a platform to highlight the diverse stories and values that I hold dear,” said Nichols. “When people think of this brand, I want them to think of confidence, culture and class.”


Founded in 2020, the California Coffee Company is a Black-owned and operated coffee distributor with a vision to honor the bold, resilient spirit of African American ancestry through the building of community, commerce and legacy. We will accomplish our vision through excellence, integrity and love. For more information, visit www.calicoffee.co.

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