After 20 plus years, you would think I wouldn’t be surprised any more at the perplexing looks I get from folks who find out I work at a coffee magazine. “You mean ALL of the articles are about coffee? Is there that much to say?” When I tell them that there are several industry magazines and that mine has been sharing coffee information for more than 20 years, most are just plain flabbergasted. That’s when the true education begins. Coffee is complex; coffee is challenging; coffee is to be cherished.
And so I am excited to share this month’s editorial contributions to the cherishing of the cherry. This issue’s primary theme is securing sustainability for producers now and into the future, for without the producers, our industry ceases to exist. For anyone who has experienced origin, you understand the challenges. And it is through this personal understanding that you are able to appreciate the insane amount of work, attention to detail, risk, and reward of a beautiful cup of coffee. And it is this appreciation that you communicate to consumers that will make the difference for unless consumers come to understand the real value of great specialty coffee, they will not be willing to pay the appropriate price that the producers deserve.
And so it is our job, each and every one of us, to make sure that we understand and appreciate the journey that begins with the cherry and ends with the consumer, each of the intricate steps from the planting of the seeds to the picking of only the ripest cherries in sometimes wildly challenging environments, the perfect processing, storage, transportation, and then roasting to bring out the incredible unique flavor of the marvelous bean. Beyond the personal understanding and appreciation, we must share this information, this knowledge, this passion, with the consumers who will ultimately enjoy this nectar of the gods. Before I joined the coffee industry, I had no idea where it came from nor what the difference was between that can of commercial coffee and the cup lovingly prepared by a local barista. Now, I do not think twice about spending more for there is true value in that cup, and I am willing to pay to make sure that kind of coffee continues to exist. So industry compatriots, especially you who have personally experienced the complex coffee journey, share your passion and help consumers to understand why it is worth more!
This issues holds many opportunities to gain a better understanding of the journey from coffee legends like Dean Cycon, Willem Boot, Danny O’Neill, Jim Stewart, and Rocky Rhodes, to name a few, sharing origin stories from China to Peru, Ethiopia to Colombia and Costa Rica.
So please, read on, enjoy the journey, and remember to share the passion!
Hope to see many of you in Atlanta at SCAA and NAMA in Chicago!