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Mississippi Physician Creates Original Healthy Coffee Company

Fresh, healthy, specialty coffee probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of Mississippi. Magnolias, The Blues, and great BBQ? Absolutely! However, a Starkville doctor is trying to add healthy coffee to the list of things Mississippi is known for, and it starts with knowledge.

“I’m a physician, so health is important to me, and I love coffee,” Dr. Kenneth Thomas said. “Being able to get the coffee with the most benefits as far as flavor and roasting it to optimize it for health benefits was important.”

It was so important to Thomas that he set out to open his own coffee company, now known as Umble Coffee Company.

Dr. Kenneth Thomas

“When I decided to create a coffee company centered around health benefits and quality, I decided I needed to learn from the best coffee roaster in the business,” Thomas said. “I went to Portland, and trained with a coffee roasting consultant there named Rob Hoos.”

Over time, Thomas mastered his craft, and Umble Coffee Company was born. Many people ask “Why Umble, what does that mean?”

“It’s a Southern colloquialism,” Thomas said. “Like my grandmother used to say, ‘He’s so humble,’ but it sounded like, ‘He’s so umble.’ So, I just literally dropped the H.”

Thomas said when people think of beverages with health benefits, green tea and red wine are likely to come to mind, but coffee needs to be at the top of the list too.

“Coffee has more antioxidants than green tea or red wine,” Thomas said. “Coffee is chock-full of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, but unfortunately, coffee has not been marketed for health benefits.”

“Mississippi has a lot of potential, but we’re known for being number one for diabetes,  obesity, and a lot of other health related concerns,” Thomas continued. “As a physician, if I can help create a cup of coffee that’s so good that sugar and cream aren’t needed, then I’m doing my job as a roaster, physician, and fellow Mississippian.”

After his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he realized that while coffee has the potential to be a good source of antioxidants, most of what we drink is unhealthy. He found that drinking coffee can cause health problems for many people, especially when creamer and sugar are added.

Crafting an accessible, high-quality, healthy coffee cup takes skill, intention, and extensive research. With a background in chemical engineering and experience as a physician, Dr. Thomas was able to research and perfect a roasting method that provides a fresher, tastier coffee.

However, getting the most beneficial beans means being selective, and Thomas always looks for the best.

“When I look at green beans from an importer, I look at the quality of the bean; this includes the density and elevation of where it’s grown,” Thomas said. The higher the density, the higher the number of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants in the beans.

Dr.Thomas’s ability to blend and roast beans have already been recognized. He is a master roaster and has even been part of the television series “Making a Chef.”

After extensive research, Thomas perfected a method for roasting beans that resulted in the signature blends he sells today. On their website, umblecoffee.com, there is a Healthy Coffee Calculator, which can be used to test the nutrition of any coffee. Users can input the information from their coffee bags and check their health ratings.

Umble currently offers coffee selections made with beans from Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Brazil, and each has a different flavor. Customers can place individual orders through Umble’s website or set up a subscription to have coffee periodically delivered. Decaffeinated coffee is also available.
According to their website, this consideration of health and nutrition sets Umble apart from other roasters.

“There is no other coffee company like Umble — we’re the original healthy coffee. We’re 100% focused on crafting the healthiest coffee imaginable.”

Umble not only serves a healthy roast but one that has a tried and true award-winning taste. Umble is proud to represent Mississippi in competitions against large coffee companies from the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.

Not only does Umble give back through one of a kind coffee with great health benefits, they also support an orphanage in Zambia, “Living Hope International,” with one of their coffees, called “Upper 90.”

Umble supports an orphanage in Zambia, “Living Hope International,” with one of their coffees, called “Upper 90.” 

Dr. Thomas is on a mission to improve the health of Mississippians, and coffee drinkers everywhere, one delicious black cup of coffee at a time. He also has a podcast called Coffee 101, where you can learn more about Umble Coffee and the health benefits of drinking healthy coffee.

“The overall goal is to give people the opportunity to have a great cup of coffee that benefits their health,” Thomas said. “They’re going to drink coffee anyway; it might as well be awesome, too.”

To learn more about Umble Coffee Company, visit umblecoffee.com, look for them on Facebook, or listen to their podcast.

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