Tom Owen recently parodied the growing trend the Extreme Green Buyer Videos, the sort that are shot at origin with flip video camera and promote the buyer’s own personal bodaciousness. In the following article, posted via the Sweet Maria’s Wee-Blog, Tom responds to the comments his parody video has generated, and sheds some light on the whole business of what it’s really like to leave home for several weeks/months out of the year in pursuit of a better coffee. It’s damn well worth the read.
The fact that coffee buyers travel at all has recently been examined in posts by Kevin Knox and Ken Davids. Aleco Chigounis wrote a great little piece a while back on the same topic. Wish I could find the link to it. Kevin in particular has raised some points I feel are sentient, that traveling to origin and doing a direct trade deal is not any guarantee of getting the best coffee. It’s dead on true, but its also mildly annoying to me personally because here I am spending a wad of money, precious time (away from Maria and Ben and my important tasks in the cupping lab, not to mention missing possibly good surfing days at OB!) to make sure each trip is relevant, and absolutely does result in better coffee than I can get by trolling the brokers list. And the last thing I want is to ruin my good carbon-neutral standing.