I’ve spent the past week editing a dozen podcasts to get them ready for you. It’s been incredible listening to my weekly conversations with Mike that we started about six months ago. From the first episode where we go so far off topic that I had to cut almost three quarters of the audio to the most recent one I edited (#12), a lot had changed for Mike and I in this venture.
The most telling, though, is what hadn’t changed. There is no doubt we are inspired by Blue Bottle Coffee and many other roasters and shops doing wonderful work to spread their take on what specialty coffee is to them. But our calling is different. We want to bridge the gap between specialty coffee elites and the common man, connecting them through incredible flavor experiences. In addition, we want this great taste and awesome process of brewing a great cup as available to as many people was possible.
To that end, we’re making videos, writing blog posts, and recording podcasts. What we aren’t doing yet is selling anything. We have a couple reasons for this. Our coffee isn’t quite ready yet, our brand isn’t ready yet, and we want to continue to act as guides instead of just coffee hustlers. Not that there’s anything wrong with hustling coffee.
Our coffee isn’t quite ready yet. Mike is a perfectionist when it comes to a couple things. Photography, videography, and roasting coffee. Overcoming the desire to make everything perfect and just “ship it” has been a challenging part of making our video blog for Mike. When it comes to roasting coffee, we want to make sure we can duplicate, consistently, the coffee we’ve been enjoying. Mike’s been playing around a lot, but he’s also been putting in some serious study hours trying to make a great roast. But it’s not enough to make a great roast is you’re looking to sell it. You have to be able to deliver a great roast over and over again. We’re not quite there yet.
Our brand isn’t quite ready yet. Our brand presentation isn’t quite ready yet, either. Mike and I both believe that every touchpoint with a brand should not only be top-notch and of the highest quality, but should communicate your identity as a a brand. We want to be a super-clean brand, but with a little more edgy and hip presentation than a solid white fruit with sans serif Helvetica writing. Striking that balance takes time, effort in experimentation, and humbling yourself to listen to feedback. We’ve been hard at work making sure if you buy something from us, it lives up to the hype. We’re not there yet, but hope to arrive soon at an awesome and consistent experience.
Hustling Coffee. I read a roaster’s opinion today about shipping that really got under my skin. It shouldn’t have. I see some roaster’s packaging that I think is tacky and awful. It shouldn’t bother me. I taste some coffee that I really don’t enjoy. That’s okay. It’s actually all okay. The reason is simple- there’s room for everyone’s take on coffee in this industry. Enough people drink coffee that you don’t have to cater to every human being on the planet. Even if you tried you couldn’t make everyone happy. But you can have an opinion and make sure your brand communicates that opinion. Strong choices here will help set you apart from the competition and attract the type of coffee drinkers who will be satisfied with your products.
Thanks for going on this journey with us.