More and more today, educated and uneducated Americans alike utilize language in order to evoke reaction and develop momentum on particular issues. Whether it has to do with the political arena or an environmental difficulty, a “trigger” word can provide one with the heat needed to get the locomotive moving. That may very well happen in the political realm; however, when we talk about coffee, can we adequately remove every preconception we have regarding the political or environmental from our view on how coffee “ought” to be produced? Can we help but apply our preconception?
Traditionally, the word “process” has come to mean “to perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.” This definition, in and of itself, does not make the word controversial. The term, however, has become loaded with historical significance. Just read Upton Sinclair’s take on meat factories in the early 20th century. Especially as a gerund, the word “processed” implies a “series of sinister operations applied to a consumable by a insidious elite with a malevolent intent” (pardon the emphasis.) No doubt this has been popularized by TV and film production. If it weren’t, I doubt you could withhold your inclination to peer over the counter at Taco Bell and watch them prepare your taco meat (I guarantee you had an ‘amen’ in your being. Admit it!).
If we, however, had a proper understanding a “process,” recognizing that on the one hand, it is used sometimes as a means to inflict harm on people, but, in general, they preexist human development and form some of the building blocks of our environment. Can we, however, on a personal level, really pierce to the dividing of great processes, like assembly line manufacturing of pickup trucks, to small processes, like those relating to cooking raw meat or proper food handling, according to our preconception, without contradiction? We have to be careful what we take in. Without a doubt. However, how often are we throwing the baby out with the bath water? Not only so, but in our supposed “exposing” of sinister plots, what solutions are we providing for individuals who are in dire need of ground to stand, and not only so, but a home in which to dwell? Human needs, one could argue, are not complicated. However, sustaining human life in an increasingly hostile and confusing age certainly is.
Systems, or processes, are not the goal. They are merely a procedure. But without a goal, the means becomes the ends. This is the subtlety. This is the frightening tendency of the human mind. How wary we need to be.
As a company, Sojourner does not exist for the sole purpose of recreating preexisting systems. Profits and net revenue in and of themselves corrupt. The goal is education. If you are bent upon drinking the same cup of first wave coffee with 10% robusta and caffeine levels that allow you to survive your third hour lecture or mid-morning business meeting, certainly the process you are subject to has a sinister intent. It is merely dependency. You have ultimately conceded to the false notion that “coffee” is a taste in and of itself, and the sacrifice of flavor justifies your sugary incorporation. Not only are you subject to one and now two processes (interdependence of creamer industry on first wave coffee), but also to the “American runs on...” web of time usurpation. The end justifies the means.
Marketing much? Of course. If you have the remedy, why withhold it? African Compilation coffee boxes exist for the purpose of educating YOU that certain processes exist to bring out pre-existing conditions. Otherwise Gordon Ramsay would be out of a job. Our coffees are picked specifically with the understanding that their native soil creates a foundation for the basest processes to succeed in producing a base product. But how credible would we be if we left you to die on that hill? It’s also a process to finish the argument. How about the roast? Are the beans no equivalent to an ash heap? And what kind of brewing method do you apply? Our goal is not the process, but to ensure that the consistency of the process brings you to the realization that processes exist for a reason. Of course the reason is an experience. And you cannot experience without the right product. And without the right product, you cannot have a faithful brew. Taste the faithful brew.