If I had one word to describe my year off to date, I’d say “Reflection.” If I had two, they’d be “Reflection” and “Design.” But, if I had a third word, it would be “Coffee” (the fourth phrase would be “really bad music” just in case you were wondering).
Coffee has become a strong passion for Chester, George and I. It started out from our work on designing products for the specialty coffee industry, but it has become so much more.
We have tried dozens of coffees from across the US brewed in many different methods. We’ve grown from buying coffee that costs $4/lb to tasting (but not really buying) coffee that is well over $100/lb (though we usually settle on coffee which is around $14/lb). We’ve met a ton of amazing people who share this passion. And we’ve learned a lot… enough to know that we know almost nothing about coffee.
There are a few things that I really like about coffee.
First and foremost, the mathematician and engineer in me like the fact that producing good coffee requires the optimization of dozens of coupled variables. As much as we try, there isn’t a closed form solution to this problem; there isn’t an equation which will produce the perfect cup of coffee. As a result, there is always room for experimenting and trying things out.
The entrepreneur in me likes the fact that the Specialty Coffee Industry is young and growing at a non-trivial rate. This means that there is lots of excitement in the industry and lots of change in the technologies. It also means that what is considered the best today will be laughed at 6 months from now. Things aren’t stationary.
The anthropologist and designer in me likes the fact that everyone is so passionate about their work. They love spending time working on coffee, and are such rich and complex individuals as a result of it. It’s pleasurable to design for them.
The humanist and socialist in me likes the fact that the community is so considerate. Everyone is driven by something higher than money- good coffee. People in rival companies help eachother out. There’s always someone out there willing to help you out, even if it doesn’t help them out any. It’s great.
It also helps that I really like coffee shops and the taste of coffee.
It’s super fantastic.