Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monarch Coffee: It's Got a Story

The company I used to work for, Context Research, has an excellent tag line: Stories Matter. (Context is an ethnographic consulting company, and cultural anthropologists are about nothing if not stories.)

I don't know if it happened while I worked there, or if I found the job there because it had already happened, but at some point, I internalized that message. Stories matter, and everything's better when it comes with a story.

Especially food.

And that is why, after nearly six years of letting it hibernate in its box in the closet, we finally hauled out our brand-new-wedding-shower-gift coffeemaker. Until this week, when we wanted coffee, we went out and bought a Dunkin Donuts Box of Joe. We are that lazy. That inefficiently lazy.

But no more, thanks to Cooper's high school friend Patrick and his wife, Lori. Patrick and Lori live in Denver, but were in town last week for the holidays, and they came bearing gifts. A sheriff's badge and moose t-shirt for Dixon and a package of ground coffee for us.

But not just coffee. The coffee came with a story. You see, the people who sell the coffee (which is called Monarch) are friends of Patrick and Lori's, so they've got a special attachment to the brand. I wish I'd had a video camera to record Lori explaining how cool it was that their friends bought a coffee bean farm in Costa Rica, and turned their house into a roasting facility (imagine how amazing it smells all the time).

It's the kind of story that I like best - a work/life fairy tale. Two people figure out what they're really passionate about, then they figure out a way to turn that into a job. Not everyone can do it, but the ones who can are really lucky.

And as a result, they've created coffee with a great story. Oh, with great flavor and a great aroma, too. I am not, obviously, a coffee connoisseur, but this stuff certainly beats Starbucks (at the very least).

The story alone, though, is worth buying some coffee. Worth buying a coffeemaker, actually.

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