In reading a recent article in Roasting magazine, I found myself faced with the concept of slowness. It feels counter-intuitive when you prepare and sell a product like fresh roasted coffee that is a vehicle for a stimulant like caffeine, but I discovered there is something to be said for slowness.
As a culture, we often value efficiency over quality. I’m all for being efficient with my time. We all get 24 hours in a day, and there are plenty of motivational talking heads that implore us to be more effective with every hour. It’s a symptom of a condition catalyzed by the personal technology revolution. The dichotomy of this is evidenced by an event we all have witnessed (or have repeatedly done ourselves). Imagine the person recently you saw walking and texting at the same time. While their efficiency quotient is high, they are also choosing the peril of falling into the proverbial open manhole cover, or the not so proverbial and very real street full of speeding cars. I haven’t checked, but I imagine there is an entire genre of YouTube videos of people walking into signposts while on their phone.
Coffee preparation has a dichotomy as well. There is this grandiose element on one side, with Aeropress, Kyoto drippers and skilled baristas pulling shots contrasted with a practical, speed and/or volume method with percolators and individual serving cups and counter top home drip brewers. It goes to the core of why one seeks out single origin coffees of distinct quality. By occasionally embracing slowness in our coffee experience, we connect with others. The person who grew and picked the coffee cherry, our roaster who loving caressed the fruit and caramelized aromas out of the beans, and possibly the skilled barista that drew those flavors into your cup. At Bethesda Roasting Company, the connectivity expands to our non-profits connected with each roast. When you enjoy our product, you’ve improved your world, many times in places where the hurry-up revolution has never taken root.
You may be sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant right now, obviously on your computer, drinking a Bethesda Roasting Company product. I appreciate the time you have taken to delve into our world, so enjoy the coffee and the experience. Now, isn’t there something better you should be doing with your time? Chop-chop, the world waits for no one.