One of the cool moments for me at the ABCUSA Biennial was the discovery of a coffee roaster. The Coffee Connection is an organization dedicated to helping women recover from addiction. Their website describes their work this way,
The Coffee Connection empowers women on their journey to sustainable recovery from addiction. We create jobs and train women for sustainable employment as a not-for-profit business selling fair trade, organically-grown, and sustainably-farmed coffee to retail and wholesale customers. And we provide comprehensive, continuous support for women on their journey toward sustainable recovery, integrating their learning of life practices through our program in the context of running the business.
That’s something I can get behind.
I was planning on purchasing a bag of whole bean coffee myself, but an old friend showed up and ended up purchasing me a bag as a gift 1. I just finished off the beans this morning and wanted to share some thoughts on the three reasons why I really enjoyed this coffee.
First is the mission of the company. Worthy endeavors abound in the world, we just need to open our eyes to see them. Worthy endeavors which are creative and dedicated to the long-term growth of people are also not rare, but the heart of the person I spoke with about the company struck me. These folks are living this work as their way of embodying their faith, and that’s something for which I am grateful.
Second is the coffee itself, because it is a coffee company and a bad product wouldn’t do it any favors. Most of the blends they had on hand were Central and South American beans, which I don’t care for 2. They did, however, have one dark roast which was an Indonesian coffee blended with Guatemala 3. After I returned home I ground some of the beans in my hand-grinder 4 and brewed up a pot in my press. It was delicious. The coffee had that wonderful smokey flavor I associate with good dark roasts 5, and hit the back of my tongue with chocolatey notes 6. It’s exactly the type of coffee I go out of my way to search for.
Third, my blend came with a history lesson! Finding coffee and history together in one product is a “shut up and take my money” moment. Helen Barrett Montgomery was a scholar, social reformer, and supporter of missions. She translated the Greek New Testament into English, which was published in 1924. She was also elected president of the Northern Baptist Convention in 1921 the first woman elected to such a position in any denomination in the US. I’ve her name before, and knew a bit of her story, but seeing her name attached to this blend reminded me to learn more. What an impressive person!
As I mentioned, their online store is not up and running, but when it is, you might want to try ordering some beans. It’s great product, and for a terrific cause.
- Sorry I was half asleep when we chatted Glenn! It was good to see you! ↩
- They taste “muddy” to me for some reason. I prefer African or Indonesian coffees. Why? Because, that’s why. ↩
- Guatemalan coffee is the one Central American bean I find semi-appealing. I’m not sure what the exact blend is, and their web-site’s online store isn’t up so I can’t check. ↩
- Hand grinding is the way to go, really. ↩
- And the beans were glistening as I scooped them out of the bag, which is an awesome sign. ↩
- Just a note, we taste “chocolately” because our brains are trying to figure out what to make of flavors and it latches on to that as an analogy. “Mocha” coffee, for example, was not originally “chocolate flavored coffee.” It’s just that roast beans smelled so much like chocolate that the link got made. “Mocha Java” is really just a blend of two different beans. No chocolate is included. Yup, I’m a nerd. ↩