I was talking to Daniel Brown, who runs Gilly Brewing Company in Stone Mountain Village (Georgia). He was lamenting that so many people see coffee as a commodity. Today he served me a simple pour over but here are all the areas of excellence he puts into it, that people with a commodity mindset for coffee would not appreciate.
He told me about how the farmers of this specific blend from the Gesha part of Ethiopia pick only the ripest cherries on the coffee tree, even though they have to pick around the unripe cherries on the same limb. And to think that something like 300 cherries were specifically picked for this little cup of coffee I'm gulping down. Then he goes through the careful, measured, calculated weighing out of beans, wetting the filter, shaking the coffee grounds and slowly pouring the certain temperature water over the grounds. Then he lets it slowly dissolve the flavor as it fills the flask. Then he serves it with simple syrup that is not so simple. He decanted some sort of special mixture syrup down and then put something like maple-vanilla extract he made into it. And he has consciously sourced oat milk. And he serves it all on a wooden tray: the flask of poured-over coffee, the small ramekin of not-so-simple syrup, another ramekin of oat milk, and a cup which has an individually-tied a bandana around it. Oh and the decanter also has a bandana individually tied around it as well.
This man has a passion to pour excellence into his craft. And people like me see it as a "commodity."
And I look outside at the cars rushing by the big eucalyptus tree standing by this second-floor window. I see the layers of cloud and the painted sunrise. And I think about all the excellence placed ALL AROUND us and we, well at least I, tend to see most of it as a commodity. A common backdrop (like a painted wall in a play) or functional objects to help me accomplish my goals or appease my impulses.