As we at UTOPIAN work to build a holistically sustainable specialty coffee company, we regularly consider a number of stewardship issues: fair wages & safe working conditions for workers at origin, sustainable agricultural practices, environmentally friendly roasting/packaging/handling, etc. To date we haven’t made much noise about these things because to date we haven’t done anything truly remarkable or unique. Such themes guide our purchasing habits, the charities with which we partner, the packaging materials we use, etc. But there is so much more that can and should be done.
One of the ways they we’ve always desired to contribute to holistic sustainability is to elevate specialty coffee—to show it for what it is. It is a livelihood, a passion, a luxury, a pastime, and so many other things. At the end of the day though, it is a drink, a consumable. It is art. It is brief. It is gone. Like all things on earth, save the human soul, it is temporal. It will pass. I guess, then, my highest calling in this role is to underscore the human element of coffee. To that end, let us consider that another’s livelihood is our luxury. May we drink deeply and bring to consummation the human labor that stands behind each sip.