While roasting coffee, I’m looking for the perfect coffee color. So, having just the right roasted coffee color is critically important to creating the perfect coffee. Until recently, I had no idea how important color has become to left-coasters. Here’s a true story on a flight out of San Francisco. To be perfectly honest, I’ve embellished the conversation a little. Keep in mind that I’m a Conservative Christian Coffee Roaster.
Coffee Isn’t Racist
I was recently traveling through San Francisco, when the woman next to me on the plane asked, “What do you do for a living?” Responding, I said, “I own a coffee roasting company.” She asked, “Are you green?” “Well”, I said, “I’ve been a little green with envy and occasionally a little green around the gills.” “No” she indignantly responded, “Is your company green?” With a confused look on my face, I said, “Well our company name is Lake City Coffee and going with the lake-theme, our logo is blue.” As if talking to a child, she said, “No, I mean do you support the environment?” “No!” I said, “I support my family and indirectly I support all the families of the people that work for me.”
Idaho’s Coffee Roots
Frustratingly, she asked, “Where are you from?” Proudly, I said, “Coeur d’Alene Idaho.” Instantly she shot back, “I suppose then, all your employees are white?” Just to get her goat, I said, “Are you asking if my company is transparent? Absolutely NOT! My books and my company are my business. What we do and how we do it are no one’s business except me and my taxman.” At this point I started seeing veins on her forehead. “No are your employee’s white?” “I wouldn’t know about that Ma’am, but I can say that some of them drink white coffee. Does that count?”
Totally frustrated, she said, “Let me try a different track. Do you have any black in your company?” Thinking I had an easy question, I proudly said, “You bet! We’ve been in the black since day one!” Seeing the horror on her face, I said,“ Opps, I must have misunderstood. Did you want to know if we have any dark roast coffee? You bet we do!”
“Look, are you just trying to be difficult? Don’t you embrace the rainbow culture?” Fearing a bad coffee crop this year, I asked, “Are you talking about God’s sign of the rainbow, that He would never send another worldwide flood?” Shaking her head, she gave me that smug look reserved for unenlightened pig farmers.
Free Trade BS
Thinking she had me pegged, she went for the throat. “What about brown? Do you support the brown people with Free Trade?” Now here was a subject that I know quite a bit about. So I asked, “Which one?” Surprised and with a confused look on her face, she said, “What do you mean which one?”
Trying not to sound like a pig farmer, I said, “Well, there are 7 different Free Trade organizations. There’s the World Free Trade Organization, the American Free Trade Organization, the USA Free Trade Organization, the EU Free Trade Organization, and then Starbucks has its own Free Trade Organization. Unfortunately for the farmers, Free Trade is 100% a marketing gimmick to fool idiots into paying more for coffee without passing along a single dime to the farmers.”
Organic Coffee BS
As our plane began to descend, she hit me out of the blue with, “Do you at least sell organic coffee?” My response just about killed her. “Yes, our coffee is made from 100% coffee, which the last time I checked is a plant and therefore made of organic life.” Disgustedly she said, “Look, is your coffee certified organic?” Again, I had her, “Certified by whom? You asked if my coffee was certified organic. I’m asking you ‘certified by whom’ and to which organic standard are you referring? You see every country has its own standards of organic certification and the standards vary widely from country to country. In fact right here in the United States, each state licenses its organic certifiers to independent businesses and in each state these businessmen bid on the license. That organic certification license generally goes to the highest bidder.
Coffee Color Freedom
Here’s my point. Condensing everything and everyone down to a color is ridiculous. Brown, Black, White, Green, whatever, doesn’t matter.
All I care about is when you get cut, that you bleed Red, White, and Blue.