“The concept of conservation is a far truer sign of civilisation than that spoliation of a continent which we once confused with progress” – Peter Mattiessen
I constantly ask myself what the fulfilment in this business is? Am I here to make a constant stream of caffeine for the masses, or is there a slightly deeper meaning to my job? Sometimes I wonder whether this sense of meaning is simply an abstraction that we create to justify what we do.
To bring it back to Mattiessen’s quote, we are trying to change this game of spoliation. It is well known that there is a distinction between the generalised coffee market and what many view as the specialty coffee industry. He first produced the idea that pure economic growth through methods such as commoditising coffee is an ultimate goal. Asides from a loss in quality, there is a disregard of what is most vulnerable. Our environment and disadvantaged populations become secondary to the production of as much coffee as possible, and for the cheapest purchase price. How is this compatible with principles like sustainability, development and preservation?
A sense of fulfilment can come through the belief that our work can make a difference. Striving for sustainable practices is our sign of civilisation in this complex industry. Balancing the economic position of farmers and workers, with the profits of roasters, against the backdrop of our shared environment should be at the core philosophy. Only then can we truly be making progress, and only then will fulfilment be tangible.
TOM'S AEROPRESS RECIPE
With Mecca's BlackForest Blend
(50% Pedro Morino - Hondrus, 50% Bifdu Gudina, Ethiopia)
- 12g coffee - medium-coarse grind on hand grinder
- 200g water - below boil (let sit for a minute or so - roughly 92°C)
- 1 minute 30 total brew time
- Non-inversion -> keep it simple
- Start timer! (if you have one)
- Add all the water into the chamber at once
- Thoroughly agitate with stirrer
- Immediately fit the plunger in, careful not to push to hard.
- Start plunge at 1 minute 20 seconds - aim to finish by 1 minute 30
Tastes like cocoa, cherries, blueberries, smooth mouthfeel.