Every coffee has a story behind what is in the cup. Why it tastes the way it does. A farmer decides to plant a particular varietal for yield, flavor, or disease resistance. A coffee buyer evaluates samples, envisions the finished cup, and how it will bring pleasure. A roaster determines how to realize the buyer's vision as well as the bean’s potential for balance and expression. The entire path is filled is intentions, knowledge, actions, and the stories behind those decisions. Blends even more so because of the input of the person creating the blend and how the coffees express in relation to each other. These are compelling stories for many of us.
For me, there is another question though: why is a coffee on the menu in the first place? In this case, why have a Celebration Blend?
Celebration Blend is about recognizing and appreciating our shared community. Our sometimes overlooked community that exists on a different layer than family and close friends. It's a reminder to take a moment each day (hopefully not the only time!) to recognize our common humanity. To appreciate the co-worker who covers a shift for us when we’re sick, or helps make Saturday morning rushes fun. To recognize the barista who makes our beverage exactly the way we like it. To stop and let in the customers who show up every day to order their coffee and pastry from us when there are so many quality choices. To remember former co-workers who taught us so much and helped us become who we are. It's humbling. We become a part of each others’ lives. And truthfully, we frequently grow to really like each other despite the transactional nature of the relationships. So we acknowledge that.
People are what makes this more than just a job. We are sometimes witnesses to the most important moments in each others' lives. People in our community have met their eventual spouse in one of our coffee shops. We celebrate pregnancies and support the accompanying (and sometimes difficult) switch to decaf. We see children grow up coming to our shop and eventually become employees (hi, Jesse!). We have mourned traumatic personal losses with each other at Highwire. Very human, and deep. This is our community and we cherish it.
So to me, that’s the spirit of Celebration Blend. Each year it is different, selected from choice components that Eric finds throughout the seasons with the intention that people will come together over a satisfying cup of well-made coffee. And take the time to appreciate each other.
I look forward to sharing a cup with many of you and wish you peace, love, and joy this season.
P.S. Celebration 2018 will be released Thursday 11/8. A more formal introduction to this year's blend will accompany that release. Stay tuned!