Coffee and the Shared Life
The coffee bean ‘is’; and there are many devotees of this divine drink. Coffee folk will have many stories in which the quiet unassuming cup of coffee plays a lead role. From their introduction through to its involvement in many of life’s experiences.
A steaming brewed coffee as the dawn breaks, an espresso while contemplating life, a latte with friends or a long mac during a business meeting. At my café these are daily moments for our regulars.
Everyone has their thoughts on how to best consume their coffee but regardless of the presentation, regardless of the method of bean extraction, the commonality is the flavors, the very “Essence” of the bean extracted and presented in the cup.
As my coffee journey progressed, I discovered that the most important aspect was not in the final presentation but in the bean itself. No matter what style of coffee your preference is, it all begins with the bean. Many will argue that only a black brew is real coffee, or it’s a long black (errr Australian version of Americano) often making those who like their brew with cream or with sweetener or even a latte with caramel, feel like second-class coffee devotees.
When we opened our first specialty coffee café, I targeted those people referred to as ‘coffee geeks’ or ‘coffee snobs’. They were the ‘real’ devotees. They had their ‘doctrinal statements’ clearly defined and treated other coffee drinkers condescendingly if not with downright contempt. All because they fail to know the real way coffee should be experienced. (I will refrain from the anti-coffee crowd who insist it is at best a narcotic crutch, at worst a death drink whom all intelligent life forms should shun. This story is more polemic than apologist.)
Here’s what I learned about the purists: they were not so much passionate about coffee but rather about their personal take on coffee. They demanded the café be a place devoted to their purist ideals. Others could come, but only to be indoctrinated into the ways of the elite. The Gnostics with secret coffee knowledge just waiting to initiate the novice into ‘the way’.
Don’t get me wrong, their passion for coffee is good and commendable. When people who truly want great coffee are exposed to the real thing – specialty grown, roasted and prepared coffee – they will pass many commercial coffee shops to imbibe. but like the biblical pharisees confronting Jesus, they are kind-of coffee Pharisees, keeping people away (through guilt) from the pleasures of good coffee, condemning their simple pleasure of coffee, demanding adherence to their devout forms, rather than drawing them in and freely offering them the foundational experience.
I almost became one… well, I probably was one for a while.
Now here I stand. A coffee aficionado who would rather have no coffee than a bad one. As we say at Essence of Coffee, it is in the bean; we bring it to the cup. I am particular about the bean, im not a pluralist who believes any bean will ultimately present an amazing brew. Bad beans need a lot of enhancements to imbibe their essence. I seek out the genuine coffee bean, delving into its uniqueness to discover its very Essence and then present it to whoever comes with the intent of coffee becoming that amazing presence in every event of life.
At Essence you will find a melting pot of coffee drinkers, all with one thing in common: the simple pleasure of a coffee, offered how they like it. With cream, or without, brewed or an espresso or a pour over; presented as a latte, or flat white; a chemex or a brew. The common denominator is a life share with others all drinking a cup of coffee from the best possible beans in a manner they enjoy.
The melting pot of life should be inclusive not exclusive… that’s the thoughts of a Coffee Guy.