Coffee for a Cause: Mental Health and Coffee
Health Benefits of Coffee
When we set out to build Relax and Brew Coffee, we did so first out of a love for coffee and second with an eye towards what we believe coffee can bring to the world. Some of these benefits are tangible, physical benefits. Others are mental and emotional. Still others are symbolic in nature.
Physical Health Benefits
Coffee has a number of physical health benefits and these are the easiest to quantify. Studies have linked coffee consumption with longer life expectancies, lower risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke), type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more (source).
Coupling these prevention-oriented benefits with increased energy, and potential upticks in fat burning due to the known effects of caffeine, you have a beverage that is not only rich and tasty, but also working small miracles for your body.
Mental Health Benefits
The mental health benefits of coffee may be less apparent on the surface, but are no less significant. A European study found that repeated consumption of caffeine (75mg - the equivalent of one cup of coffee) space approximately every four hours resulted in an elevated mood.
To make that more simple, drinking coffee over the course of the day resulted in improved mood.
To further drive home this point, a Japanese study showed that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day may offer protection against depression.
Moving away from the actual consumption of coffee, we also find mental health benefits in the process of brewing coffee at home. Manual brewing especially (methods such as pour over, french press, and Chemex) is an incredibly sensory experience.
Brewing coffee and tea is listed first amongst ideas for practicing One Mindfulness by Dr. Marsha Linehan in her DBT Skills Training. Dr. Linehan is the creator of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).
Starting first with the grinding of the coffee beans, providing an aroma that can fill a home and ending with the taste of hot coffee, the brewing process engages all senses and can provide 5-10 minutes of mindfulness. Taking this time to stay in the moment and be present is something we advocate for and feel makes a huge difference in your day.
Our personal connection
“Mental health problems impact our life on a daily basis. I struggle with mental health challenges that impact my mood on a daily basis. Further, it impacts my family and friends who are close to me as they watch me struggle, and also deal with the fallout.
Outside of myself, I have friends and family that deal with different issues on the mental health spectrum and have watched the stigma in our society prevent them from getting help until much later in life.
Reducing this stigma, while improving early diagnosis and support for individuals struggling with mental health conditions is where we want to begin.”
Relax and Brew Coffee
Our 2% Commitment
We are a new company but we have every intention of scaling Relax and Brew successfully. Along the way, we are making a commitment to donate 2% of our profits to charities benefiting mental health care and diagnosis. We believe this is a perfect pairing as there is already a connection between coffee and mental health.
Our chosen foundations
We chose two foundations that we will disburse the funds to. These foundations were chosen based on:
- Supported causes
- Financial transparency
- Financial overhead
Our research has, and will continually be validated through Charity Navigator.
Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. - Child Mind Institute
Mental Health America
MHA is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. - Mental Health American
How and when we'll donate
At this point in time, our plan is to calculate net profits on a quarterly basis and donate each quarter. The funds will be split between these two foundations in a to-be-determined fashion each quarter. We will also provide a transparent tracking system of our donations after our first major contribution.