Coffee, in and of itself, is an amazing drink. When you get your hands on a good cup of coffee with subtle complexities, exotic flavors, and a full body, it's easy to get lost in the moment. Many of us have our own routines, morning, evening and times in between where we just sit, relax and put off our worries with a cup.
What's been going on with coffee on the Western Slope of Colorado even transcends this amazing drink. I'm beginning to see what I would call "coffee family" develop. Others might call it "coffee culture" but I think it goes more intimate. As a roaster, I get to interact with not just the drinkers but also baristas, coffee shop owners, and the like. The other night Olive Ridley's in Rifle held a free coffee cupping class for their customers which they graciously asked us to teach. We had people from multiple coffee companies in attendance and what developed was a sweet time of talking about how we can encourage each other in business, personal and the like. Owners of Mistys Coffee Shop in Silt, Olive Ridley's in Rifle, and Li'l Coffee Shack in Parachute can be seen patronizing each other's businesses on their days off. Customers are being referred to one another's place for events. It is not even unheard of for one of these guys to run out of coffee and borrow some from the other until their trusted roaster can get some roasted in an emergency :)
Competition, if it exists, becomes a healthy spurring on of one another to be the best we can be, not a mud slinging, belittling, dog eat dog world that we've all grown accustomed to and tired of. The name of the game is healthy collaboration for the sake of developing our small communities into friendly places that won't tolerate products shipped across the country that sit on shelves for months, served stale and tasteless. We actually know one another in the coffee chain, have babysat each other's children, we go out to dinner together and are in the business of creating a great coffee family.
We want to be about and encourage others to invest in your communities. Form close relationships, be there for each other whether or not you benefit financially from them. As always, thanks to all of you patrons of Mountain Mama Roasters, and our network of friends and coffee shops that we can be a part of.
Call me up or come over and I'll make you a cup.