10 Reasons We Are Thankful for Coffee!

1. Coffee Brings People Together.

     Getting coffee with friends has become a cultural norm. Television sitcoms often center stories and scenarios around getting a cup of coffee at a trendy coffee shop where they spend time talking and meeting friends over a cup of coffee. If you're having guests, offering coffee is also very common. Some of the best conversations we've had with friends have been over coffee. Since you can drink coffee however you like it, whether you're a purist who wants black coffee with nothing added or a sweet coffee drinker, coffee can be something anyone enjoys. It's not always about the caffeine rush to keep us going throughout the day; it's about the friendships built around this delicious drink.

2. It Helps Us Start Our Day.

     For those of us that need a specific morning routine, coffee is often a part of it. Coffee has been a part of our mornings for so many years that it's hard to imagine starting our day without it. While we're sure the caffeine helps us wake up in the morning, it's more the routine we enjoy. It helps us start our day with one of our favorite things in the morning. We love coffee. We love the smell and taste. So having one every morning provides comfort to our routine that helps us look forward to the rest of our day.

3. It Connects Us to Humanity.

     We live in a world with a lot of conflict and angst. But if you think about the world and what makes us as humans alike, one of those things is coffee. Almost every culture drinks coffee. With so many differences in the world, drinking coffee is one thing that many people do for enjoyment. It may be different from culture to culture, but whether you're in Ethiopia, Turkey, England, the U.S., Brazil, or Guatemala, so much of our lives can sometimes revolve around coffee. To be human is to drink coffee.

4. Coffee is an Experience. 

     We love to sit and read or think about our day and make plans as we drink coffee. We often have an afternoon cup of coffee, and this is when we love to sit, think, read, or plan. It's usually a time when we pause in our day after a busy morning and before the afternoon business begins. 

5. We Simply Love it Because it Tastes So Good.

     As we've said before, coffee is not just about the caffeine kick, it's an experience, and one of the best experiences when drinking coffee is tasting and enjoying different coffees from different regions. Now that there are so many new ways of processing coffee, there are many flavors to experience. Coffee has come a long way. It used to be that people didn't know where coffee came from and how it was processed. We know so much more now and can experiment with tasting different flavor profiles. I personally know I love Guatemalan coffees, which are often washed. Recently we started offering a honey processed coffee from Guatemala, which is different from the traditionally washed coffee. Now I don't have to settle for the one flavor profile, and I can try different flavors from the same region. If I feel daring, I can even try an African coffee and get some bright flavors. One of the things we enjoy most about coffee is its flavor. It just tastes good. There is a wide range of flavors within regions. For example, Latin Americans are usually bold, and Africans are more floral and fruity. It's pretty amazing how many differences exist within regions; now that there are so many processing methods, the possibilities for differences are growing exponentially. You no longer have to settle for the mass-produced, bitter, and overly roasted coffee. You can now even roast how you like it or visit a specialty coffee shop that roasts just how you like it. 

6. Coffee Brings Back Good Memories.

     When we think about what makes us human, we think about our tendency to remember the past and remember the good things longingly. Nostalgia is a powerful desire to relive a good memory and can bring with it strong emotions. We have all experienced a song, a street, a sound, a smell that takes us back to a place we wish were again. We remember and sometimes even desire to go back and experience it again. We all know the experience of a smell, sound, or flavor takes you back to memories. Coffee does that for us. I've been drinking coffee most of my life, even as a kid. Coffee is just a part of life when you're from Guatemala. Of course, I would have it with milk and sometimes even some sugar. My favorite memories are when I was a kid spending time with my extended family in Guatemala. Since I grew up in the U.S., I don't see my family as often as I would like. I remember my cup of coffee with the cookie-like bread that I would dip and then eat. It's a fond childhood memory of spending time with my family while drinking coffee and enjoying a sweet snack. I go back often to that memory. Sometimes the smell of coffee alone takes me back to my aunt's table, where I would sit and drink my coffee with my sister and cousins.

7. It Keeps Us Going.

     While coffee is an experience to be enjoyed and savored, there are those days when we need something to keep us going. What better than something like coffee? It's a drink we love with the caffeine kick that keeps us energized. Whether we're chasing after kids, going here and there from activity to activity, coffee keeps us on the go. Some people reach out for energy drinks, but why go for something with artificial ingredients and artificial caffeine when you can reach for a cup of coffee that tastes great and is naturally caffeinated.

8. It Helps Us Know More About the World.

     Before I started at Sagebrush, I knew a lot about coffee. I knew a lot about coffee regions and different flavor profiles. Now I research and learn to write about coffee, it's clear that there is still a lot to learn. I hope to share what I learn with our customers to help increase their knowledge about coffee and how it impacts the world. Coffee has helped me know more about the world. It's fascinating to learn about what the farmers in Ethiopia have experienced for us to taste their coffee in the U.S. It has been a tumultuous experience for them. Rwanda is no different. Life is hard for some of the farmers and workers that provide the best coffee in the world. Getting to know their plight has enhanced my worldview to better understand the challenges people face. The human spirit is astounding and can overcome significant obstacles. Learning about coffee helps me to know what people experience all around the world. I care about how the products I buy affect other people. Coffee is such an international commodity that buying a cup of coffee has a ripple effect around the world. 

9. Coffee Helps to Provide Work for Farmers in Underdeveloped Countries.

     Coffee farming is hard work. Some of the best mountains for growing and harvesting coffee are in underdeveloped countries. For some, their very survival is dependent on successful coffee harvests. When the Fair-Trade initiative began, it was started with the intention of giving farmers the visibility they needed to grow their operations, at least for those who operated smaller farms. But as time went on, it would become too expensive to become Fair Trade certified, which complicated things for the farmers the initiative sought to help. As a result, local roasters like us here at Sagebrush began to develop direct relationships with farmers and bypass some of the expensive certifications farmers just can't afford. Coffee has become so much more accessible now, which increases demand, which means that farms need workers. They need workers to pick the coffee cherry from the trees. Since the terrain is often too high and steep for machines to work well, farmers rely on manual labor to pick coffee. Once the coffee is picked and taken to the mill, depending on the process, coffee may be manually processed in order for it to be washed, dried, and depulped. The more coffee the farmer has to sell, the more work is available for local people. Some farms like the Altieri farm in Panama provide other help for their workers' families, like education. It really is true that you and I can really help those around the world by simply buying a cup of coffee.

     At Sagebrush we work hard to develop direct relationships with farms across the globe. We do it for a lot of reasons. We have found that is often the best way to get our hands on the best coffee in the world. It's also a great way to help farms grow and help the workers who work so hard for the cup of coffee I drink every day. That's why you've heard Matt say that he won't ever negotiate the prices of coffee for producers. He'll negotiate everywhere in our supply chain but not on the price of the coffee purchased directly from a farm. One of our biggest priorities is to showcase their hard work. They can't produce great coffee is they don't make a profit. We want to encourage production and growth because we believe everyone benefits in the end. The farmers benefit, their workers benefit, and we enjoy some of the best coffee available. Check out our Altieri family blog to find out more about what they do to help their workers.

10. It's Easy to Take With You Wherever You Go.

     Coffee might be the easiest drink to take with you everywhere. I have taken it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. In times like that, when you're camping or backpacking, you might not be able to put all the things you love in your coffee, but in its purest form, all you need is hot water, a filter, and something to pour the hot water over the grounds. You can brew it easily, even if you're camping, backpacking, or even in a hotel. You don't have to give it up even in the most primitive of environments. If you're someone who loves the outdoors and coffee, you don't have to give up one for the other. You can take your coffee with you, enjoy a hot cup of coffee with minimal equipment. It's true; I've done it. There's nothing better than sipping a cup of hot coffee when you've reached the summit of your favorite hike or spending days camping at the beach. Or even when you have unforeseen events like one Christmas morning, the power went out in the house, and we all drank our coffee using our camping stove. We may not have had any lights that morning, but we all had our cup of coffee before opening presents.

You can't write about coffee and Thanksgiving without also including some tasty recipes...

Thanksgiving Recipes

     We know that pumpkin and other spices are trendy, especially during the holidays, but Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use other ingredients like pecans.

Pecan Pie Coffee

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Stir together chopped pecans and brown sugar.
  2. In your mug, start by adding the syrup and maple extract.
  3. Pour your coffee over the syrup.
  4. Top with whipped cream, chopped pecans, and brown sugar.

Maple Pecan Latte

Ingredients:

  • Your choice of sweetener. (ex. Simple Syrup, Sugar, Honey, Agave Syrup, etc.)
  • 2 shots of Espresso or Drip Coffee
  • 1 tsp Maple Extract or Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pecan Extract
  • Steamed Milk
  • Ground Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Pour the maple, pecan extract, and sweetener into your mug.
  2. Add espresso.
  3. Add steamed milk.
  4. Top with milk foam and ground cinnamon, if desired.