May all your drinks come true.
On this day, a day that is observed, commemorated and celebrated by the beverage industry, the focus is often on having a coffee. While that is part of why this day is an enjoyable one, for many, a dedicated day to observe an existing ritual is just more fodder to continue the practice that bonds one to themselves and to a greater community of coffee lovers.
This year of 2021, I’d like to share a few comments about all the things that make a drink come true. Of course, there are the planters and sowers – our wonderful farmers – the reapers and producers, the coffee buyers and shop owners who make decisions that bring innumerable bags into view and then there’s the barista and consumer, final stewards and champions of what becomes a drink.
Our drink is made possible by a multitude of role players behind the scenes and at times in front of the scenes who become coffee influencers. Our gratitude should be to each of them and even to ourselves for using our dollars to buy coffee that sustains occupations and yes, lifestyles.
Additionally, our drinks come true because we place emphasis on a segment of the coffee market called specialty. What does this mean? It might be a term some love to love and others love to almost hate. However, the term, I’d like to think simply means, a coffee that stands out: it’s different than its contemporaries with tangible and tactile characteristics that make it so. Of course, specialty also is defined by a number of practices and actions like Q-grading, point systems, coffee auctions, subjective palates, terroir, processing and above all a level of excellence.
While I’d love for no coffee to be left behind, the truth is, even in my personal choices, as I pursue making my coffee drinks come true, I choose one coffee over another, I select a profile over another, and I’ll pay more for this one than another.
The power in being a consumer is in our choice and our voice.
What I do, yes, what we do with our decisions matters because it impacts those that facilitate coffee being this beloved worldwide product. For our drinks to come true we must continue to take the journeys that coffee takes, we must find aspects of its life that we care about and begin and/or continue to explore them. When we explore coffee we explore ourselves, we explore what’s important to us which shapes what we value.
Today and in the days to come, as you place an order; support a coffee subscription, discover a new coffee shop, explore a rebranded coffee bag, think of a call to action that can deepen your relationship with how our drinks come to us.
A coffee drink takes the work of many hands, even ours, because after all a drink isn’t only there to be pretty, it is to be held and consumed.
As we celebrate the journeys – near and far – may all our coffee drinks come true. Cortado please.