Millennials, Nostalgia & Quality February 24 2015

Today I stumbled upon this interesting article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/24/its-true-americans-like-to-drink-bad-coffee/

..and ultimately ended up here:

I'm not such a big fan of the coffee but the ad itself is great. The simple and playful approach is refreshing.  It's really hard to self reflect, but this ad got me thinking; "do we as quality roasters take ourselves too seriously?" 

I personally am a HUGE fan of all things quality but I have a hard time with novelty, and I feel like I see more and more novelty in the specialty coffee industry. Especially when it comes to products that fall into the hipster genera. 

I am a millennial.  I graduated high school in 2006 and began roasting coffee shortly there after.  In 2008 the housing bubble burst in the U.S. and took down the rest of the economy with it.  So for myself and most of my compatriot millennials the few years after finishing high school were not looking too promising.  Even if we were lucky enough to be college students, the employment prospects that we faced were pretty dismal looking after we graduated. 

I recently read a study that suggested that my generation was the 1st in 100 years to be worse off on average than our parents were.  Pretty scary!

So what about novelty and quality?

It seems to me that novelty and nostalgia are very closely related.  The hipster trend cherishes every decade from the 20's through the 70's and appears to be tied to a pervasive idea that living in these times must have been better than what we face today.  Sure in some senses that might be true. I worry about what world we are creating for our children and whether or not will we have breathable air, food and water in 100+ years, but these concerns are nothing new.  Life is hard, it always has been and always will be, but by many standards we are much better off today than our grandparents were.  I think its just somehow romantic to imagine that there was a better time and we try to live vicariously through objects and products that fulfill that nostalgic craving. 

I think Owen Wilson's character Gill in "Midnight in Paris" was spot on.

Quality then is where I personally connect.  I feel that if something is worth doing then its worth doing right, and while the definition of right is sometimes transient and hard to pin down in general we often know when we experience it in our own lives.  If I cannot find a good cafe I would rather opt out of coffee than settle for Starbucks.  For me coffee is something special that should be consumed in the right way at the right time.  Quality and consistency are the hallmarks of a good roaster and that's what you can expect from us. Quality coffee, clear and concise presentation, no frills, no pretension and maybe a bit of playfulness if we can squeeze it in.