With a name like Java Momma, it should come as no surprise that this is a coffee network marketing company. It's also a little different than most competing companies – as Java Momma focuses on quality coffee, similar to what you may find at local stores.
In contrast, most other coffee MLMs (like Valentus or Javita) add herbs or other ingredients to coffee, in an attempt to provide health benefits. While getting extra benefits from coffee sounds nice, those products often just provide instant coffee with a slightly odd flavor and questionable advantages.
Now, coffee is popular. There's no doubt about that. Many people drink multiple cups per day and would hate to do without it. This means that there is a decent chance of making sales, even with all the competition out there.
Coffee is also a consumable product, which is great news for sales. If you can get someone to love the brand, then they're likely to make purchases regularly, especially if the prices are reasonable.
So far, so good. Just bear in mind that there are many different coffee brands out there and customers are often brand loyal.
Two Ways To Make Money With Java Momma
The first way to earn is to sell the products from Java Momma. You earn a commission from each sale. There is also a team-building aspect, where you earn from the sales of your team members.
Both approaches can be effective, but how does Java Momma stack up overall? The final part of this post considers exactly that question.
Make Money From Product Sales
As you can probably guess, Java Momma mostly sells coffee. This includes different roasts and flavors, along with some tea and related products. There is a decent selection of these on offer. In fact, I counted more than 70 different products and more than half of them were coffee.
Other items include tea, cocoa, and mocha, along with related items, like mugs and merchandise.
There is a variety of coffee styles to choose from, including responsibly grown, medium/medium-dark/dark, decaf, flavored, single-serve cups and Kosher.
The first thing to mention is the nature of the company. Java Momma isn’t a high powered or extremely large company. Instead, it is a fairly small operation (although it has expanded since I first reviewed it), with only a handful of people on the primary team. This style has advantages and disadvantages. It is also very noticeable.
A useful aspect of Java Momma is that there are some very interesting and unusual flavors on offer. You might find some of them through other companies but not all. This would help make the brand more interesting, especially to anyone who enjoys flavored coffee.
Java Momma also releases some limited edition and seasonal flavors. This is an appealing style as well and helps keep customers interested.
Even though the overall quality isn’t entirely clear, the products are likely to be popular enough. Many people are simply happy with coffee that tastes good. It doesn’t need to be the best possible brand or has the best possible pricing. That aspect may work in your favor.
The same is true for other types of products, like tea and cocoa. As long as most of the products are good, many people will come back time and time again.
There are also subscription boxes. These are especially interesting, as they are a product type that you don't often find at physical stores. There are three subscriptions to choose from.
Monthly boxes are always fun. They make great gifts and they’re a good way to try out new products and flavors, including ones that you wouldn’t normally consider.
In this case, box details are provided ahead of time and you can just order one box at a time if you want to. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the box monthly and get a 10% discount.
There are also mystery boxes. Few details are provided about the contents of these boxes (as you might expect). The mystery style would be appealing, especially as the boxes tend to be inexpensive.
The Good And The Bad
Honestly, it’s hard to know what to think about Java Momma. Coffee is a huge market and there is certainly demand. That’s obvious just by all the business opportunities in the field, including coffee affiliate programs.
I also love the focus on quality coffee. This is so much better than companies like Javita and Valentus Slim who basically just add herbs to instant coffee. For that matter, the coffee is more appealing than most other coffee-based MLMs. There are also enough other products to keep people interested.
Java Momma is also small-scale and has much more personality than larger companies. This aspect is likely to get more people interested and could easily promote loyalty.
Coffee could work quite well in direct marketing too. After all, you can actually have people try the coffee at events or even just when you have them around. The prices aren’t unreasonable either and there are some interesting flavors. All of these areas suggest that you can sell coffee and related products.
Even so, the brand isn’t extremely competitive. The packaging does also feel a small scale and there are already hundreds of coffee brands out there, with the same general products. Many of the people you know will already have brand loyalty as well or will prefer buying products from a physical store.
Java Momma is promoted as being different. In particular, it is meant to be a direct sales coffee company created for customers and for consultants. And honestly, the company does give off that vibe. As I mentioned before, it’s clearly a small scale and there is no sign of a large corporation being involved.
To sign up, you need to purchase a $20, $35 or $65 kit. These prices are reasonable, especially as all of the kits come with sample bags of coffee (including the $20 kit!).
The base commission for Java Momma is 20% of any sales. You don’t need to buy and then resell either.
Customers can sign up for subscriptions and receive a discount on their purchases. If they do so, then the consultant gets a 10% commission on sales, rather than the 20%. While the potential for passive ongoing income is nice, 10% per sale is a seriously low figure.
To make money, you use a replicated website from the company. With this style, each distributor gets the same basic website, with a few minor changes.
Selling from a website is always powerful. This means you’re not limited to a local audience. Instead, you can promote the products to anyone that you know – simply directing them to your website to make the sales.
The style is also convenient for customers. They can buy online, rather than making purchases in person. However, you need to be sure that they’re going to the right place each time so that you get a commission for their orders.
The site from Java Momma is also free. That’s incredibly rare. Most MLMs charge members a website maintenance fee. This is often around $10 a month and can sometimes be more.
Making sales online can work extremely well. But, Java Momma is unlikely to teach you how to take full advantage of this. So, you won’t learn how to develop your own website and get extra traffic that way, or how to promote traffic through social media.
You also get a 20% discount on your own purchases. The discount means you could buy and resell if you wanted to – although any of those sales wouldn’t count towards any bonuses or your sales totals.
20% is also on the low end for an MLM. Many will offer at least 25% commission, often with the chance to increase as you go along. But, it’s still not a bad figure. After all, you didn’t have to create the product and you’re not paying ongoing costs. Instead, you’re just promoting it.
Because the coffee isn’t expensive, the amount per sale isn’t high either. Still, it could add up, especially if you’re targeting coffee lovers.
Beyond this, you earn from your team.
Make Money Building A Team
Java Momma uses a simplified compensation plan, with a three-tiered structure. In this type of structure, the people you recruit form the first tier, the people they recruit are the second tier and their recruits are the third tier.
The style is much shorter than other companies, creating a lower potential for income as well. The potential commission levels are based on rank and are shown in the image below.
The figures are lower than many other MLMs, although the 5% commission for your first tier isn't too bad. There also don’t seem to be any significant bonuses for sales or for growing your team.
While we're on the topic, it's worth talking about the ranks too. Java Momma has just four ranks, with the first being your starting rank.
To move up through the ranks, you need to increase personal sales, team sales, and the size of your team. Later ranks require you to have some team members who hit specific ranks themselves.
The most unusual feature is that you need 5, then 20, then 50 people in your team to move up the ranks. Most people would need to look far outside their social circles to hit those goals.
One other aspect is the ongoing requirements. Staying active just involves making one personal purchase or sale every three months. This is extremely good. In fact, you’d probably be ordering more than that if you liked the coffee.
The requirements get higher if you plan to build a team, as the first rank has a requirement of $50 PV each month. Still, you wouldn't need to sell many bags of coffee to hit that goal each month.
So, low income or not, Java Momma doesn’t come with many risks or requirements. This could make it a great way to get started with MLMs and to figure out whether the style is right for you.
There is one other limitation that I want to mention – competition. Java Momma sells coffee, tea, a little cocoa, and some related products. All of these are competitive and there are countless companies promoting them.
If this weren’t enough, you’re also competing against the site itself. Customers can easily order directly from the Java Momma site. The site just uses a Shopify interface and visitors don’t need to do anything complicated to be able to purchase.
This means that once you’ve got people interested in Java Momma, they may just make orders themselves. Sure, they might still order from you first, whenever possible. But, many of us tend to go for the easiest option whenever we can. This could mean you lose out on commissions because people are trying to save time or even because they forget to visit your version of the site.
Can You Generate Reliable Income With Java Momma?
The Java Momma Review
The potential for income from Java Momma does certainly exist. There are even some advantages, including the free website and the low ongoing requirements. The style of the company might also work in your favor, especially for anyone that distrusts large companies.
This all makes Java Momma a fairly low-risk choice for an MLM. But, it’s also low in rewards. The compensation plan is much smaller than most other companies, only allowing you to earn from three generations. There is little information about other income or bonuses – but I wouldn’t expect there to be very many.
This style would make Java Momma interesting as a side business, especially if you just wanted to focus on sales. But, there doesn’t seem to be enough power to create a decent long-term income.
Is that a problem? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for.
I can imagine Java Momma being a bad fit for many people and an interesting choice for others. If nothing else, it’s nice to see a company that focuses on customers and products, rather than excessive hype and outrageous claims.
MLM Critic & Author: Nathaniell
What's up ladies and dudes! Great to finally meet you, and I hope you enjoyed this post. I have to be honest though. I'm not a big fan of MLM. Tried it. Hated it.
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I stumbled across your posting about Java Momma and wanted to thank you for reviewing our company!
I would also like to correct you on a few items in your posting about Java Momma. The main one was your comment about competing against the company on their web site. We don’t use Shopify – we have a custom Direct Sales based software system that gives a replicated site and when a customer signs up to purchase they are placed under the the referring Barista and ALL future purchases would be credited to that Barista regardless of how they go to the site to order.
We also provide extensive training for the Baristas on how to grow their sales and use social media.
We have grown considerably since your last review so would like to show you where we are now.
I am a Java Momma Barista and I must say that in my opinion the taste and quality of the coffee is better than Starbucks for sure. Regarding the business opportunity, you have to work hard in everything no matter what you do when you’re an entrepreneur so to say that you can’t make money in this or that is false.
Since the publication of this initial article the company has grown quite a bit (the company was about three months old in December 2017). It would be wonderful to see an updated review. Also, Java Momma now roasts about 98 percent of its coffee in house — that makes a huge difference in taste and quality. Hopefully you’ll check it out again! And yes, I’ve been a consultant with them for just over a year now — the join kits have changed a lot!
As for the earning power — I am quick to tell anyone who wants to join that if they’re in it for the money, this isn’t the company for you. My husband and I enjoy it as something unique and fun to do. We don’t earn a lot as is stated in the review. It’s a perfect fit for us though as we’re not into the whole direct sales or MLM mindset, and we work full time. A lot of the consultants are also with other DS companies from which they earn bigger “paychecks”. But it’s a fun gig, the CEO and her husband are genuine and lovely, and I feel that if they continue with their slow, but steady growth and remain focused on being a source of excellent coffee, they’ll do all right.
If you don’t make much money at it, why keep doing it? Why not spend a bit more time to increase your earnings and expand to promoting multiple types of coffee, coffee devices, etc to different types of people. When someone doesn’t want Java Momma, you just say, “OK bye” ?
I keep doing it because I enjoy it. I’m not looking to make a huge amount of money. I have a loyal little repeat customer base, I proudly stand behind the coffee, tea, cocoas, and related products without reservation. My goal is to share something I love and that is this great little company. As I said, it’s a fun gig. I just wanted to share to folks looking for something different, that this is a great little company that’s perfect for the person who just wants a little side business. And yes, “I do say, Okay Bye” because it’s not for everyone. Not everyone cares for coffee, tea, etc. No skin off my nose if they say no, lol.
I’m in PA. I ordered some coffee from Java Momma and it doesn’t taste as good as Dunkin or Seattles Best which is half the price. Now if someone would start a business like this with delicious fresh roasted coffee it could be a real success.
That’s the problem with most MLMs. The products are inferior, and they only sell because distributors hype them up. You find that with a lot of essential oils, kitchen tools, soaps, and whatever else MLMs typically sell. $10 soaps! OMG
In Feb of 2019 I would agree with you about the taste of the coffee. At that time we were not big enough to roast our own and had it done by a local roaster. In March of 2019 I started roasting all of Java Momma’s coffee on an Air Roaster and the coffee produced is top quality. I would encourage you to try us again and see how good our coffee is now !