beautiful coffee

If you receive a coffee that is truly remarkable…not Esmeralda, but equally as elusive and beautiful, how do you describe it to a customer who’s only concern is the number on the price board? I am really looking into finding out ways to communicate without offending, and without coming off as a snob. I know these days people are very concerned with the economy, what they are spending their money on and so on and so forth. But I am always interested in getting the “avergae joe” to understand coffee not just as a commodity, but as a micro-industry to support when you can (meaning, farmers and their families and all that).

suggestions?

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~ by Me on November 28, 2006.

5 Responses to “beautiful coffee”

  1. adjectives baby… when you find adjectives that describe coffee in ways that people might not think are possible, i find they become more interested to see if they can see what the hell your talking about. and i’m not just talking grapefruit, or sweet, or nutty, or … i’m talking “catipillar crawling on a dewing branch… ahhh… so beautiful.” i encourage people to keep tasting and that palette will keep growing, even in a psychological adjectival manor.

  2. adjectives/metaphors… i know they are different… but they must work together to create influence and inquiry.

  3. I like what Scott said, and I think he’s nailed it. For example, think about how both Gimme! and Blue Bottle use these left field descriptors of how the coffee tastes. These “flights of fancy” give the reader/customer an additional avenue into understanding. Like when you’re reading an excellent review of an album or movie, it’s the connection, the recognition, through subtlety that really wins me over.

    Never underestimate humor. Arno was able to get people to drink the Yemen by saying it reminded him of poopy baby diapers, “but in a good way.” It totally worked.

    And I think owning it helps. If the words coming out of your mouth are honest, I think people will respond.

    And if they’re really worried about the price, and you really want them to drink it, bet them the cost of the coffee. I had some guy at the Ferry Building get all in my face over the price of an espresso so I told him if it wasn’t the best shot he’d ever had, it was on me. He paid and tipped!

  4. But more to the point, and perhaps this is more of a coffeed discussion, but somehow I don’t see everyone responding to the “support our industry” thing. Did that “Made in America” campaign actually work?

    We supply a need. If they need something top-notch, you got that. If they need something cheap, you’re not in that industry. If they need something that makes them feel good about their consumption of a largely third-world export, you can supply that too. But there are always those people who won’t be happy, no matter what you tell them, because they can get what they think is the same thing somewhere else, cheaper.

    I think of my father, bless him, who was an organic farmer, who can’t help himself when it comes to the cost of things. Scream and rant and argue as I might, he still shops for things at Walmart. It kills me. And I know, if I wasn’t sending him coffee from time to time, he would probably go back to the canned stuff.

    Wow, I totally took over your post.

    Oh, and if you need some adjectives for that “beautiful coffee,” feel free to send a sample this way!

  5. Dude, this is totally great are you kidding? I think this is what i struggle with the most. I do not make much money, I do NEED to be cost concious when it comes to most things, but when it comes to something I care about and when I can at least figure out how my contribution will affect something…I personally listen and do the right thing.

    you know?

    and I feel like coffee is something that is needed, for sure, but man, if you NEED it and we give you a better quality of that “need” AND we are also telling you your money is helping them make more of that quality NEED, you would think they would care a little bit…just a little? right?
    maybe the west coast has made me a softie.

    it is just one of those things I guess, most people are selfish cheapskates that won’t give a damn about coffee farmers anyway so long as they can get the caffeine from a can of chock full o’nuts.

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