2014

The Voice

The Voice Monthly Column

cowboy coffeeI do not think of selling my coffee by the pound. I sell it by the cup. I say, “Will you pay a dime more a cup to have me choose and roast your coffee?” My take on presenting coffee is “Coffee, choose it like wine!” And I am ready to explain on the drop of a dime.

The public is anxious to be romanced by the passionate world that revolves around coffee.

I am not alone! I want to meet more. I want to hear them on a morning show!

How many star chefs can you name? How many can you see dancing across your memory from Julia and Jacques to Wolfgang and Emeril to Rachael and Bobby? Dozens? Hundreds? They come and they go.

Now, name a coffee celebrity. Juan does not count. Neither does Mrs. Olsen nor Mr. Coffee, the late great Joe DiMaggio. There is not one celebrity coffee person outside of our little world. What national network has had a ‘start your week with a great cup of Joe’ coffee expert?

It would take two years just to introduce a different country, method, and compliments once a week. We also do know that there are many choices from each country. They could not even touch the devices, hot new drinks, cold new drinks, and blends and mechanical things.

There is a bunch of cool things out there that make the coffee experience better that we can talk about more publically.

For the last 20 years, I have expected some respected coffee gurus to become celebrity voices for our industry. In my humble opinion, as soon as just one of the big morning shows picks up on a roaster/teacher/specialty beverage specialist for an alternating guest and eventually for regular appearances, the other networks will scramble to find their own.

Who will those voices for coffee be? Who will the country learn to trust?

I have a favorite saying, “The more you teach, the more you become the teacher!” We need some on-air teachers.

My Master Plan
What we must do is promote each other and ourselves and learn how to promote you. We must find the ways to recognize and display the humor, the devotion, and especially the passion and knowledge of our beverage specialist. And finally, we need to then take it to the air.

We have to find creative ways to publicly teach. Contact every chef in your community and see if they would like to feature their pastry skills with a coffee tasting adventure. Call your local radio call-in shows and tell them you are a roaster. There are so many creative people out there with exciting ways to be seen, and remembered!

Remember this: If you ask someone if they like coffee, then they might say no! But, if you ask someone if they know someone who loves coffee, then you just opened a door.

We have to include all the support companies that fill the shelves at the popular coffee shops and websites. They need to be recognized for their contribution to this increasingly fast paced society that takes coffee breaks like an expected human function.

Many in our circle have seen the growing changes and needs, and they now make equipment and supplies, dry goods, and pantry items to accommodate. They have creatively added to the depth of the café experience.

We must get out there as educating personalities on the wings of social media, print media, and on to the radio and television airways. We must find our own voice and the voices that can speak up for our industry and our ways!

Teammates
jb smiling bbonnetsMy partner and I are stepping out with a new marketing plan. We are boldly putting our images on our labels and while I teach, write, and roast, Cami Dean will be on the radio interviewing our colleagues, chefs, restaurateurs, and retailers, as well as producing videos to feature our customers. She is a recent U.S. Congressional candidate with a ton of credibility. We will make our colleagues look better. We are going to be a one-two punch in Dallas/Ft. Worth and hopefully beyond. I expect others to do the same here and in their own networks.

The more, the merrier!

With the faith and support of a long friend who gets it and gets me, Kerri Goodman, the publisher of CoffeeTalk, is giving me the opportunity to write about the humanity and dedication of our industry leaders. You need to help us identify the human jewels of specialty beverage. You need to step out into the light yourselves and either be confident and proud or become that way.

Media School
Who is with me here? I propose a ‘Coffee Celebrity’ Media Retreat. I want it to encourage and for us to be inspired by each other. Who would sponsor that?

I personally cannot wait for a weekend when coffee personalities from all over the country gather and share. There are others out there who can also help with this project.

There is a point to this too! I have proven that you do not have to be good looking or even a genius in order to advocate for something you know and love. Courage induced by passion, creativity, love, and the need to share what you know are all you need.

Let us do that! Let us find our voices and become the passionate choir for the second most traded commodity in the world, the most consumed beverage. Let us start talking coffee to the consumer.

Let us go to our own school and learn how to get published, get radio time, create an identity and aura, and be ready when a few bold people start showing up as TV morning show regulars. The day is coming and is close at hand.

I know that I am preaching to the choir. But who is actually listening?

J.B. Blocker is a food and beverage specialist with a long line of corporate clientele. AKA the Caffeine Cowboy, he has been in the coffee industry since ’92. He also maintains two blog sites. He is the voice for the Sheriffs of Texas at Northtexasreporter.com and lonestarreporter.

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