Cold Grinds, Cool Beans...Mas Mocha

Black Coffee, the manifesto

by badbeard 11. January 2010 11:32

I just watched the first 2 discs of  the sobering, Canadian-produced 3-DVD documentary called Black Coffee, which is interesting historically and a grim reminder of the uphill battles faced by all who consume coffee.  The 2nd disc is quite jarring in its historical telling of the 20th century viz the green stuff, and highlights how far the industry has come and how far we have yet to go to bring some economic equality to the world.  The commoditization (coffee still #2 after oil on world markets) has insured the frankly vile and oppressive behavior of consuming nations, notably but not exclusively the US, towards the producer entities.  Clearly what we are paying for a cup of coffee doesn't come close to rectifying the disparities in general.  One can hardly imagine that the destitution of the average coffee farmer worldwide is healthy for the industry in the future; this status quo has to stop eventually.  Generic coffee is still the king, although it must be said that today we can enjoy far better-tasting brews than we could even 25 years ago.  I enjoyed Dunkin' Donuts coffee plenty in college in the mid-70s, and was able to buy acceptable whole bean java in NYC in the late 70s as well. Oh how things have changed. The numbers of conscientious roasters has also risen (we) go go go!!!

As a roaster who only purchases the highest-end of the available green market; and this takes in equitable trading practices,(transparency, quality, sustainability and such, I'm fortunate that the system allows me to source green beans of discerning quality.  You the consumer as well as the producer benefits when the applicable super-premium $$$ are paid.  As cup quality and origin uniqueness become even more prominent in "the mission" we will right many of the current wrongs.  The socio-economic fragility of "the coffee system" is on the way up, fortunately.  And we hope that you choose to say no to mass-market consumption and experience the little but obvious and intense differences that you can taste between microroasting and "the other"!

By all means watch Black Coffee.  The amazing doc "Black Gold" is another must-see, especially for a brutally honest picture of production in Ethiopia, my favorite country of coffee origin and the birthplace of the bean.  We're happy and privileged to sell the fine products originating from the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), whose plight is highlighted in the film.

Tags: , , , ,

The Grind

Add comment