“My Coffee is Called WHAT?!”

One thing that I encounter a lot when I try to introduce someone to a coffee is a defensive wall as soon as I say the coffee’s name.

It’s frustrating.

“09 Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca El Injerto Bourbon.”
And there goes the defense mechanism.  That’s all it takes.  After I say Guatemala they turn off.

Why?

If you walked into a winery and your sommelier told you they had an awesome new wine, you’d hope they were able to tell you more than, “Well it’s a Californian.”  Color?  No mention of the type of grape?  Valley?  Farm?  Harvest?  Flavor attributes?

Why is coffee so different?

A bag of coffee isn’t like a box of cereal.  It isn’t always the same year after year.  A Mexican from us isn’t going to be the same as a Mexican from someone else.  Not only that, but our Mexican Chiapas isn’t going to taste the same as our Mexican Oaxaca.  Not only that, but our Mexican Chiapas Bourbon isn’t going to taste the same as our Mexican Chiapas Catuai.

What’n the heck is a Chiapas?  Don’t go gettin’ all city on me, boy.  This’n just coffee af’r all.

Sure.  And reaching for the Folgers over the Farm Gate is just saying that you don’t care about the life of a kid, that’s all.  It’s just a caffeine delivery service right?  But there I go gettin’ all city on you all over again and that’s a different article for a different time.

You’re supposed to be confused originally.  It’s new.  You haven’t dug in yet.  It’s fine.  It’s normal.  But why go through life putting something in your body every single day and not know where it came from?

Chiapas is a state.  The same way Washington is state.  The same way Oregon is a state, the same way Michigan is a state.  Can you even imagine how strange Mississippi must look to someone from Kenya?

Run with that analogy for a moment:
International Checkers Hall-of Fame, Pelahatchie, Mississippi, United States.
Think that makes any sense to someone in Papua New Guinea?  Or do you think they glaze over everything except for the last two words?

Get curious.  Get involved.  If you just drink “regular” you probably spend about $1000 on coffee a year (if you don’t go all crazy about it like me, otherwise it’s a scary amount more).  And you’ll probably drink coffee for 50 years of your life.  If I’m spending $50,000 on something I want to know about it, that’s just me.

I’m not saying everyone has to scour the internet for 6 hours a day reading up on different coffee offerings, their farms and farmers like me.  I’m an extreme example, I realize that.  All I’m saying is that the next time you look at the name of a coffee and it reads like a novel, ask the person what the heck everything means.  Chances are they’ll know exactly what everything means.  You’ll feel a lot closer to the fingers that toil over picking only the ripest cherries.  The backs that are broken from carrying hundreds of pounds of coffee down dusty roads to the mill.  The eyes that are sore and strained from staring at the line, meticulously scouring for defective beans.

“09 Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca El Injerto Bourbon.”

-bry

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One Response to ““My Coffee is Called WHAT?!””

  1. Pat Wray Says:

    Hey!! I just learned something about all those LONG names that go along with coffee! Thanks Bry!!

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