Specialty Coffee is a Journey. A long, arduous journey of seeming contradictions, nonsensical actions and a keen focus on the triple bottom line. This is not a Specialty Coffee only value by any stretch, but it is intrinsically interwoven into the very fabric of what Specialty Coffee means. When we are asked to define Specialty Coffee or Craft Coffee we invariably espouse the benefits of each of the three pillars of profit. Some focus primarily on two of the three, some strive to balance the three, but the vast majority of us societal misfits stick doggedly by our conviction that not only CAN we achieve a balanced triple bottom line but that we SHOULD achieve it. That it is in fact the very purpose of what we believe the business of coffee is based on. In my view the three pillars of Craft Coffee are a balanced focus on: Delicious, quality coffee Honoring craftspeople Getting more people to support both In my view the three pillars of the BUSINESS of Craft Coffee are: People Empowerment Ecological Benefit Financial Profit Put in more marketing style alteration I decided on these: People Planet Profit Done correctly, these three are mutually supportive, triply Continue reading Is Craft Coffee a Bloody Triangle or a Balanced Square?
The sun was rising with equatorial brilliance from the valley floor, casting it’s tingling rays upon my face. The cool, moist tropical breeze tickled my face with fern frond delicacy soothed away the lie of “roosters rise at dawn” still fresh in my mind after the damn rooster who stood righteously outside my little cabin door and started cock-a-doodling starting at about 3am; and never stopped. Sipping fresh made coffee from the very coffee farm I stood upon, gazing across the mountains of Huehuetenango, Guatemala I sighed contentedly. It was spring 2005 and I had arrived on my first origin trip, well after midnight the night before in the highlands of Guatemala after a 13 hour bus and taxi journey that was more precarious and adrenaline filled than I imagined. As I stood on the drying patio at 1550 MASL surrounded by coffee in parchment in varying stages of drying, sorting and quality I asked about each of the various lots of parchment coffee surrounding us. The farmer patiently explained them to me and gave a brief overview of the coffee washing process. I then turned to see a very large pile of dank coffee cherries, leaves and trash in a steaming Continue reading Every Coffee Has A Home. Yet Not Every Home Has Coffee.