What began as a project to collaborate with great roasters and baristas to share delicious coffee at TED, unexpectedly transformed into a message and energy that transcended its initial purpose—it was a reaction to confusion. In the year and a half spent developing, organizing and running Coffee Common events in LA, NYC, Edinburgh and London—I learned an incredible amount. But most important were the people involved in making the experiences so fantastic and the knowledge they all shared so generously.
Working with Brent, Kyle, Peter, Sean, Stephen and Tim, meant being surrounded by an unmatched passion for coffee and their desire to share it with people. That energy is what drove our events forward and its what makes it so hard to see it come to an end. Coffee will continue to be at the heart of our work and our hearts will remain dedicated to sharing exceptional coffee. There will no doubt be other great things in the future and I look forward to sharing them with you when that time comes.
Thank you to everyone involved for making it what it was.
Read our official farewell:
Coffee Common is Dead, Long Live Coffee Common
posted by bwj
on 09.19.2012, under Misc.
John Giannakos, a barista from Vancouver who joined the Coffee Common team at TED, took time between working on bar to shoot this incredible video of Coffee Common moments throughout the week. It captures so much with so little. It’s a lovely vignette of both the professionalism and fun that takes place at Coffee Common. This was another inspiring week spent with incredible people who also happen to make spectacular coffee.
Thanks to everyone for being a part of this and making it so damn awesome.
It’s been one week since the debut of Coffee Common at TED came to an end. Since then, I’ve been collecting my thoughts while enjoying those shared by others who took part. First, I’d like to thank all the baristas and my fellow committee members who passionately volunteered their time to make this such an incredible experience, one that has set an ambitious stage that’s now being gazed upon by a rapturous audience.
While, our goal was to begin a much needed conversation about coffee with consumers, I don’t think any of us involved knew just how quickly we would gain such vast attention. The support, inquiries, and critiques have been equally overwhelming and humbling.
Though the idea of a collaborative coffee service at TED had been in development for a couple months, Coffee Common—and the idea of it being something more than a single event—is just a few weeks old. There is a lot to be figured out moving forward, but our purpose from the beginning is still very clear—we believe that great coffee is, at its best, a collaboration of an empowered coffee farmer, an artisan coffee roaster, a dedicated barista, and an enlightened consumer. Through a diverse collection of voices and future collaborative events we will work together to continue educating consumers about the process and pleasures of truly great coffee. With greater consumer understanding, comes better appreciation, quality and value that will benefit everyone involved.
When I first joined Alex Bogusky on a call with Stephen Morrissey from Intelligentsia, I thought I would just help design a logo and some t-shirts for the baristas serving coffee at TED. But I quickly realized this was an opportunity for much more. I had finally been introduced to a group of industry insiders trying to do the same thing I attempt to do here at DCILY—to enlighten and inspire consumers to expect more from their coffee.
Over the next few days, a brand, a voice and a forum were developed to carry the message of this newly formed collaborative to those who would listen. Over a weekend, a book had been written, designed and sent to press; a website had been launched, and a conversation had begun. Shortly after, I left for California to join the rest of the team and watch all the pieces we’d been working on virtually from around the world, come together before our eyes. Collaboration at its finest.
Being able to spend a week with great people whom I admire, who’s blogs I read regularly, who I rooted for at their Regional Barista Comps, and who make me want to drop everything to be a part of the coffee industry full time—was an experience I won’t soon forget. It was a pleasure helping support the baristas in various capacities at TED and documenting the experience for everyone back home to enjoy.
When lines got long, I helped field extended conversations with attendees, and discussed the simple truths and nuanced joys of great coffee with them. There’s a great satisfaction that comes with a person’s first positive reaction to black coffee or their excitement upon first learning about the complexities of the coffee process. I witnessed many moments during the week when attendees at TED “got it.” The same spark many of us have experienced—that initiated our uncompromising love for great coffee and the genuine concern and support for the farmers, roasters and baristas who make it possible. Those moments are why we are doing this.
First-Hand Coffee Common Reports
Sean Bonner – GOOD
George Giannakos – CleanHotDry
Erin Meister – Serious Eats
Anthony Benda – Cafe Myriade
Also check out the great barista interviews being posted at Coffee Common
posted by bwj
on 03.11.2011, under Misc.
I’m excited to announce (and be a part of) this incredible new project making its public debut this month at TED in Long Beach, California.
Coffee Common is a collaborative gathering of top baristas from around the world, making coffee from top roasters around the world, who source their beans from the best farms they can find. For a week, some of the biggest players in the coffee industry will join together to introduce the open minds of the TED audience to the culinary delights of exceptional coffee. If the coffee industry had an All-Star game, this would be it.
This will also be the first public event shared by Common, a new collaborative brand. Under the banner of Common, like-minded businesses join forces to benefit people, communities, society and the environment. Since the participating roasters believe in the importance of building relationships with farmers and the overall quality of life at origin, there are many shared values that Common believes are important for coffee consumers to understand.
The experience and thoughts of the baristas and TED participants will be captured on the Coffee Common website. Ideally, the alliance will continue beyond TED to keep promoting the truths of great coffee. Show your support to see that it does.
We of Coffee Common gather as a community with shared values. We understand coffee as the most complex and extraordinary beverage in the world. We believe that great coffee requires study, experimentation, craftsmanship, and humility. We believe that great coffee is, at its best, a collaboration of an empowered coffee farmer, an artisan coffee roaster, a dedicated barista, and an enlightened consumer. We believe that collaboration can be an act that promotes global economic prosperity, social parity, cultural exchange, and culinary expression. –Coffee Common
More info about Coffee Common, TED, & Common
Photo Credits: TED / Marla Aufmuth