“For the love of coffee…”
Hello office coffee lovers, and welcome to the special first anniversary edition of Abe’s Coffee Column!
I’d like you all to join me in celebrating a whole year of #betterofficecoffee! This month, it’s been twelve months since I started this fortnightly blog of coffee evangelism, campaigning to improve the quality of the coffee we all drink in the workplace. That’s 33 articles, over 30,000 words and a lot of cups of coffee…!
Hasn’t it been great fun?
It’s been my mission not only to offer tips for brewing better coffee in the office – from buying your beans and brewing methods, to choosing a machine and starting an office coffee club – but also to engage readers, followers on Twitter and our clients with the coffee craft and aesthetic, its story, with the love of coffee. I hope it’s working…
What Have I Learnt from a Year of Writing About Coffee?
Coming up with ideas for creative content to engage with a particular audience online is what we do. Writing this blog, for me, has been a great case study in growing an audience around a subject using blog articles, social media and ebooks.
One of the reasons we encourage our clients to write a business blog, is to learn more about their industry and become and authority in their field. They say that the best way to learn about something, is to blog about it, after all. As Tom wrote a few months ago on the Greener Media blog:
“Consistently creating regular, high-quality and well-researched blog content that is helpful to your target customer allows you to build a reputation as an authority and a thought leader in your field.”
It’s true. Although I’ve been a coffee nut for a long time, and worked for years as a barista, writing this coffee column has been a real learning experience for me. As well as finding out why coffee smells so good, why water quality is so important in good coffee and a few cheeky coffee cocktail recipes from our friends at Honest Coffees, I’ve come across innovative individuals doing new, philanthropic and artistic things with coffee – coffee bloggers, coffee-stain artists, and coffee upcyclers Ros and Adam, to name a few.
The coffee community is very active on social media, and there are so many good coffee blogs out there. I’ve enjoyed engaging with all of you. I’ve seen what works and doesn’t work when reaching out online to the people who need better office coffee the most…. Thank you to all the contributors, sources and authorities far more knowledgeable than me who’ve helped me along the way.
We’ve done some coffee detective work, too. I investigated whether fair trade is actually that fair, once and for all debunked the myth that coffee should be stored in the fridge and unveiled our fellow media professionals as the nation’s biggest coffee addicts!
A few months in, I was lucky enough to strike up a partnership with speciality, mail-order coffee suppliers Honest Coffees. I’d like to thank Wyatt, Grace, Steve and Daisy, not to mention Digby, of course, for their ongoing support and encouragement this year in the fight for #betterofficecoffee. Thanks, too, for keeping Greener Media HQ stocked with delicious, varied and ethical coffee beans, and for hosting my guest articles on the ROI of #betterofficecoffee.
I hope high-quality, well-brewed, ethical and delicious office coffee has become part of your daily work routine, and that great coffee has come to mean as much to you as it does to me.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago I asked you all the question on Twitter – What does coffee mean to you?
Right coffee lovers, tell me, what does coffee mean to you?
— Abe’s Coffee Column (@Abe_Greener) March 1, 2016
“Coffee Carries Me Home…”
I had some great responses. I realised just what a massive part coffee plays in people’s lives, at work, at home, with family and as a way to bring people together. I want to share one response in particular with you. It doesn’t need editing. It is a beautiful love poem to coffee, its ritual and family, by Erin from Canada:
“Dad always made the coffee at my house. On lazy, weekend mornings, Mom would hint mercilessly that she’d like a cup, and he would happily set to work. When my brother and I reached adolescence and began to nurture and develop junior caffeine addictions of our very own, the lazy, weekend coffee and powwow became a family event. It was half an hour of weekly togetherness brewed, poured, doctored and served by my father’s practical hands. Over the years, the pot has grown to include both my and my brother’s partners, a cousin here, a friend there, but more or less the core ritual persists.
Now, alone in a strange country, on a foreign continent, and entire ocean stretches between me and the people I love most. Coffee can transport me back to those safe Saturday mornings. As I grind the beans, I can smell not just the familiar aroma of java, but also the spruce smoke from the roaring fire in the woodstove. When I boil the water, I can hear not just the bubbling pot, but the clunking of our old coffee maker and the crescendo of my Dad and boyfriend arguing about politics. When I cup the warm mug in my hands, I can feel the sagging wicker couch beneath me and the dull burn of my mother’s affectionate love-slaps on my thigh. I close my eyes, take a sip, and coffee carries me home.”
I think that says it all. Coffee is not just a caffeine hit, a way to get you through the work day. It is a ritual, which means different things to different people. Most importantly for #betterofficecoffee, is that you come to love it like Erin does.
Thankyou Erin, and thank you all who have read the column over the past year, supported our mission for #betterofficecoffee across the country and the world, and have come to love coffee enough, like Erin, to never settle for less in the workplace.
Whether you work in an office, co-working space, your local coffee shop or, in fact, any other place of work, keep striving for #betterofficecoffee. Want to know more about how, or why? Read my past columns or download a copy of my complete guide today. If I’ve learnt one thing this year, it’s that there is always room for improvement!
Want to talk to us about how you can engage your community through blogging? Get in touch today!