A few days ago as I was about to go to a cupping event my brother, who does not drink coffee I might add, asked me, “Are there other people who love coffee as much as you do?” Interestingly enough I found this question to be strange. I realized I have become so immersed in the coffee world: brewing methods, coffee shops, and different blends; that I forgot that many people don’t understand the fascination others have with coffee. Sure, I’ve dealt with people calling me a “coffee snob” or people telling me I am “obsessed”, but the reality is that I feel I am part of a community. Specialty coffee roasters and baristas are working to make sure we coffee lovers are provided great quality and flavor. This coffee community is also very welcoming and enthusiastic. Just take a look at Instagram for instance. There are numerous accounts dedicated to sharing pictures of coffee and commending baristas, café owners and coffee roasters for their work.
In my interaction with different people in the coffee community not once have I sensed a cut-throat atmosphere, even at barista competitions or at latte “throw downs”. The interaction between what any other industry would consider “competitors” ends up being a way for companies and other coffee professionals to share their passion for coffee and to improve because they themselves want to be better, not to beat anyone out.
Coffee is a community and anyone is welcome to join. If you’d like to chat more about this, we can talk over a cup of coffee.