Late night thoughts -Specialty coffee

coffee grounds

Getting up in the morning is a sort of torture for me. The alarms go off out of harmony every 5 minutes, in tones that would drive any normal being insane but not one resident of this household seem to be bothered.

To compensate for such unproductive mornings, I often find myself jumping from one idea to the other at very ungodly hours.

The topic that is preventing from having a longer night of sleep this time is whether specialty coffee is really a sustainable way of drinking coffee or just an elitist hobby?

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Specialty coffee

Before throwing your stones, note these are just considerations not yet opinions. I guess, thinking is a healthy habit to have.

Coffee is in my background in many ways. For you to have an idea, as a teenager my mother’s part-time job was in a coffee farm and my early twenties I spent pulling espresso shots, just to name a few practical examples.

From the hardships of the people collecting the cherries to staff meetings to discuss selling strategies and new promotions, I have seen the beautiful and the ugly within the coffee industry.

When it comes to specialty coffee, I appreciate the effort to value and promote the hard work at the initial stage of the chain.

Direct trade seems to offer a fresh opportunity to the farmers and has not yet been diluted by greedy agendas as other associations and cooperatives have

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I’m an admirer of the bean and what it means to so many people across the world. Sometimes, I lose track of time just watching videos of coffee farms or clicking through pictures of it on the internet.

So the part of the third wave movement that appreciates and works to achieve a brew that brings out all the characteristics of coffee and values the effort put into that cup way before it has such format, has my respect.

Lately, however, I have come across many different gadgets, grinders and coffee machines which at exorbitant prices promise the perfect brew.

Is it not a little hypocritical to spend hundreds on equipment that are often used as decoration or muses for social media clicks? Or is it, we just being humans and caring about the world’s problems as long as they don’t disrupt our cozy bubble?

The coffee farmer who produces those specialty beans doesn’t get to appreciate it with such pompous ceremony as the coffee lovers above the tropics. The latest grinder or brewing device are stuff of movies for them. Legends they heard of but never really laid eyes on.

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I know these are different realities and I’m not naive (although I’m hopeful) to believe that we will all one day enjoy the same perks.

However, are we not missing the point here? The initial point that was to look back and find ways to give the right worth to it? Can both aspects work together? We pay the dutiful monies to the farmers that way we can justify over-priced coffee habits?

I love coffee!! I love the culture around it and what it represents. I can’t however as the dark hours of the morning creeps in, in cold Germany, shake the thought of whether we are losing track of what really matters.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. That was what I was wondering
    Only got introduced into this world a couple of months ago. I was surprised to see all these people having machines of thousands of dollars in their own kitchen
    I always used Nespresso (and still do) but also bought a Chemex. Brewing with the Chemex became my weekend morning routine. While the bacon and eggs are still frying in the pan, I get my scale and timer and start measuring. I really like the Chemex coffee eventhough I only use pre-packed supermarket beans. People say: wait till you try fresh beans. But I like my routine and I like the taste.
    What I am trying to say is, who decides what the perfect brew is? Only I can decide when I like my coffee. Amd yes, maybe I really like a cup out of a 5000 dollar machine better, who knows, I will never buy one.
    My first Nespresso was on a roof terrace looking out over Cannes. When I got home I immediately ran to the show to buy the most expensive Nespresso machine and used the same cups. But I never got the same taste as that morning Nespresso in the sun in Cannes. Not even with a 5000 dollar machine.

    • Nayara Vieira

      Hi Bart, specialty world is vast and interesting but just like you i think it can sometimes be exploited and lose the meaning behind it. I use a normal filter machine but am quite fond of v60 too but apart from that i don’t see myself investing into every single gadget that is out there. I would never be able to catch up anyways as there is always something new. If I am honest the filter my grandmother still uses in my little hometown still brews one of the best coffee ever. I was in Southern France last Spring – marvelous place- but i did not notice a very strong specialty coffee presence over there. How is it developing? And out of curiosity how did you come across specialty coffee? 🙂

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