I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times over the last week or so. It concerns my emotional attachment to coffee. What do I get in return, what do I experience? While I get great satisfaction from coffee, the beverage, I’m not sure if my range of emotion ever extends to joy. Pleasure – yes, intrigue, frustration, disappointment, comfort sure. Joy – I’m not sure.
There can be much joy derived indirectly from coffee though. From people. Shared cups. Conversations.Unexpected kindness. Achievements. Triumphs.
The speciality coffee community both locally and internationally is nothing short of extraordinary, and has the capacity to continually surprise. It also has the capacity to frustrate, disappoint, even be hurtful (not generally to me personally – but it does happen). Petty vendettas are often played out on blogs or on twitter. I commented this week on twitter, that stone throwing online may seem like a clever idea, but you will soon become better known for throwing stones that for whatever else you might do.
I won’t name names but I think we all know at least a couple of people who sadly conform to this modus operandi, despite being in person hugely affable or having other more redeeming qualities.
There was also, admittedly, some self-reflection in my observation. While I’ve always tried to be honest in my comments, honesty sometimes has veered into abruptness, rudeness and some might interpret, though it was never intended, borderline nastiness.
But I am always reminded of what this community can be at its best. I would hope, on balance, I am a net contributor to this side of the equation.
There are far greater sums of money spent on far more trivial efforts in this industry.
If for no other reason, it would demonstrate rather emphatically what I observe (in a more modest form) on an almost daily basis. That is a unique capacity for a small globally dispersed community to rally with unexpected kindness.
To create joy.