There is tremendous pride taken in the writing and posting of Ethical Bean Coffee blogs. They are labours of love and reflect our passion for coffee and coffee culture. They are sophisticated and witty. They are educational and (usually) above my level of comprehension. A blog written by me would most certainly bring down the level of panache we are trying to achieve with our written word. Yet after years of prodding and cajoling, one particular colleague has steamrolled me into writing this post. He told the whole company, via email, that my blog was forthcoming. Oh crap.
While I work for Ethical Bean Coffee – much to the dismay of our owner, Lloyd, and just about every one of my co-workers – I do not drink a lot of coffee. For me, a $3 daily treat is a bag of tongue-burning salt and vinegar chips. The kind that melt away the skin in the corners of my mouth. The kind that if I inhale too deeply while opening the bag, I sneeze. To quote Bob Cole “ohhh baby!”
I digress. Or perhaps, procrastinate because the topic I’ve chosen to write about is “what gives me the biggest thrill working for EB?” I thought it would be easy to describe the many positives to working here: the people, the energy (caffeinated or not), the beautiful scent, the pride of working for a company dedicated to supporting fair trade and organic initiatives, sustainable energy, and our community. But the struggle is putting into words the feeling of that big thrill.
There is nothing like receiving a hand-made card from an organization we’ve donated coffee to. Or an email from a charity saying our gift pack of coffee helped to raise money toward their good endeavor. You can’t put heart-warming into words.
If you call Ethical Bean, it is usually me who answers the phone. There are all sorts of callers, but my favourite conversations are with customers who have found and tried Ethical Bean Coffee for the first time.
They tell you why they went to the grocery store that day – and it wasn’t for coffee. They had to cut through the coffee and tea aisle on their way to the cookies and the light gleaned off our silver bags and caught their eye. They considered walking by but a quick calculation that they could do with another bag on hand made them stop. They compared our roast descriptions, checked out the “roasted on” date, maybe even scanned the QR code for more info. They are excited.
I learn if they picked up a bag of our ground coffee because they don’t have a grinder, or if it was whole bean because, for some, grinding fresh every day is where it’s at. French press, Mr. Coffee, Chemex, you name it – I’ve heard all about how it was prepared and how the first sip… cup… pot changed their life. Forever.
I am not being dramatic. Coffee is a serious part of one’s day.
On top of how amazing the coffee was, the caller is proud to support fair trade and organic famers, as well as a Canadian company. They are amazed that we roast on-site, and every bag is hand filled and sealed.
The pleasure is all mine to answer these calls and converse with the public and our customers. Even on those long days when things don’t seem to be coming up rainbows or unicorns, these calls can turn my frown upside down. Sometimes I even celebrate with a dirty chai (chai latte with a shot of espresso)! Everybody loves positivity and in this crazy world, four minutes of mind-blowing coffee talk with a new customer just about fulfills my daily thrill quota. A bag of salt and vinegar chips seals the deal.