Coffee has been a staple of the American military since as far back as the Revolutionary War, with some even saying that it fueled the Civil War. In 1865 at the end of the Civil War, a Union cavalryman named Ebenezer Nelson Gilpin wrote in his diary, “Nobody can soldier without coffee,” and we couldn’t disagree.
Whether you’re in the service or a military spouse juggling day-to-day life back home, there’s nothing quite like a hot cup of joe to fuel your day. Next time you’re reaching for your mug, try one of these 6 Veteran-owned coffee companies:
1. Alpha Coffee, Utah
Alpha Coffee was founded on September 11, 2010 by LTC(R) Carl Churchill — a combat Veteran with 21 years of service as both an enlisted soldier and officer — and his wife Lori Churchill, a military spouse and coffee lover. Initially selling their blends exclusively online, Carl and Lori set out on a mission to create a different kind of company, guided by the Alpha Coffee mission statement: Awesome Coffee, Be a Warrior, Have Fun, and Give Back. Seven years later, they opened their first coffee shop at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
According to Amazon, their top-rated whole-bean coffee blends are:
- Special Reserve
- Warrior Select
- Smooth Operator
- Charlie Don’t Surf
- Double Barrel Black
Since 2010, Alpha Coffee has stayed true to their word, giving back through awesome coffee. In addition to offering a 10% discount to Veterans, Alpha Coffee sets aside a portion of their profits to support “well-run charities that give back to the military community, particularly those focused on helping Veterans and their families through educational opportunities, mission-focused employment, and outdoor therapy.”
To top it off, they’ve also sent over 20,000 bags of coffee to deployed troops with the help of donations. Check out their Coffee for Troops page to learn more about this amazing program and see how you can help them support our warriors far from home.
2. Counter Strike Coffee Company, Texas
Founded in 2015 by U.S. Navy FMF Hospital Corpsman Veteran, Brandon “Doc” Buttrey, Counter Strike Coffee Company produces outstanding coffee that reflects some of the experiences individuals have while serving this great country.
Currently, they offer only small-batch roasts and flavored blends with military-inspired titles.
Their three featured blends of premium roast coffee are:
- Smooth Operator
- Fire Watch
Plus, if you have a coffee-lover deployed or back home, their 1POT RIP Bags make 12 cups of high-octane single-origin coffees available in light, medium, and dark roast.
3. Got Your Six Coffee Co., Missouri
Got Your Six Coffee Co. (GY6CC) was founded in December 2016 by Eric Hadley, a Veteran of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. While they don’t have a brick-and-mortar coffee shop (yet), they offer light, medium, and dark roast coffee online in 12 oz. and 5 lb. bulk options as well as monthly Coffee Club subscriptions for up to 30% savings.
The company’s logo features an octopus, which represents the eight branches the company tries to help: law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and personnel from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force.
According to their website, their most popular flavors are:
- Cup of Joe Dark Roast Blend
- Maple Bourbon Coffee
- Toffee Coffee Caramel Crunch
- Zero-Dark Thirty
- Blue Line
Driven by purpose, Got Your Six Coffee Co. uses their net profits to “end veteran homelessness, to eliminate the veteran suicide rate of 22 veterans a day, and to work with other organizations such as EMTs, LEO, and Firefighters to lend a hand when and where ever we can.”
4. Invader Coffee, Texas
Owned and operated by USMC Veteran and ex-protection specialist Wes Whitlock, Invader Coffee is a small-batch, air roasted coffee company, which makes their coffee super unique since only 1% of the world’s coffee is air roasted.
Without any bitterness or acidity, the coffee is fresh, smooth, and amazingly good. Plus, their packaging features custom designs synonymous with warrior history, pride, culture and ethos.
According to their website, their best-selling blends are:
- Whiskey Blend
- Mexican Chocolate Blend
- The Original Invader Coffee
- “FSU” Blend (General Mattis Tribute)
- RUM Blend
They’re so confident in their coffee, Invader Coffee offers a 100% money back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase.
5. Victory Coffees, Texas
Former Navy Seal sniper Cade Courtley started Victory Coffees in March, 2015. Their nostalgic, 1940’s era branding includes a Rose the Riveter-esque logo and flavors like Leatherneck, Sailor, and Soldier.
All Victory Coffees are organically grown/fairly traded international blends of coffee. You can order whole bean, ground, or K cups via a monthly subscription, with the most basic plan being two 12-oz. bags or 30 single cup pods for $30 per month, or a “buck a day.”
Some of their featured roasts are:
If you prefer pods, Victory Coffees’ Soldier Cups are deemed the “world’s strongest” single-cup pods, with an industry-leading 12 grams of their Battleship Blend in every pod.
6. Warfighter Coffee Company, California
Founded by U.S. Army Veteran Forrest Mowles, Warfighter Coffee Company is an expanding roast-to-order coffee company based out of San Diego, California that specializes in small-batch and micro-lot coffees. That means that their beans are harvested from a particular plot of land, band of altitude and processed in a separate way from the rest of the coffee from the farm, to amplify their special qualities.
Some of their available roasts include:
- Warrior’s Brew Medium Roast
- Standard Issue Medium Roast
- Cafe Xpresso Dark Roast
- Pitch Black Dark Roast
- Defibrillator Light Roast
Warfighter Coffee Company doesn’t just brew amazing coffee — they’re on a mission to improve the lives of Veterans by creating jobs, donating profits to Veteran organizations and raising awareness for mental illness in both the civilian and military sector.
With coffee so ingrained in military culture, it’s no surprise that Veterans want to keep it coursing through their veins long after their service is over. If you can’t live without your morning, afternoon, or evening coffee; we hope you try one of these small, Veteran-owned businesses next time and let us know what you think!
Have you tried one of the Veteran-owned coffee companies on our list? Share any Veteran-owned coffee brands you know in the comments below!