Today the Specialty coffee world is afire with the news about one of our own idols Stumptown Coffee being sold (again), this time to Peet’s Coffee.
The reactions range from FU$KI%G SELLOUTS! to HELL YEAH CONGRATS!
I’m firmly in the congratulations camp. The people at Stumptown have operated at the highest level of awesomeness for 15 years.
That’s 131,400 hours of passion, pressure, stress, focus, grueling work, details, execution, and blood. I doubt if most people reacting negatively to the news could have made it even half as many hours. Let alone accomplish even a small portion of what they accomplished. I am immensely proud of what they have accomplished and freakishly excited for what they will accomplish in the future. Stumptown has always been one of my role models. I have aways admired their coffee, their quality, their passion and the fucking brilliance of everything they did. Their coffee has always rocked. Their people have always rocked as well. What more can you ask for?
And Peet’s Coffee, although stumbling for a while seems to be regaining some of their mojo. Together Peets and Stumptown could have a pretty substantial positive impact on the coffee market. If their parent wealth management wants them to, they could dramatically effect a revolution at coffee origin by bringing higher quality coffee to a vastly larger audience. In turn they could combine their efforts at origin and strike an amazing balance of super quality, farmer focused stories combined with systems and processes and serious purchasing quantity that has the potential to cause a mild revolution at originated at the retail level. Of course both sides will continue to buy coffees based on the C market with quality differentials as they both do now. And they will both continue to buy remarkable coffees at much higher premiums.
I am confident that this is a good thing for Specialty Coffee overall. It will mean more people get to taste more special specialty coffee more often.
Or are we more concerned with which vinyl record is playing and which machine the coffee is brewed on?
If so, then that’s not punk rock, thats just lifestyle branding.