Coffee Common at TEDActive by Katie O’shea

Wherein my former inquiry into the value of Coffee Common’s participation in TED is finally, if inadvertently, answered

Right here in your hands is a cup of something beautiful. It’s beautiful because it’s sustainable, it’s beautiful because it’s delicious, & it’s beautiful because it’s attainable. You can seek out this beauty at a coffee bar in your city, or you can brew this beauty at home. Lastly, it’s beautiful because, at significant volume, it can change the world. And that, friends, is an idea worth spreading, indeed.

With passion, no less. Thanks Katie.

Back when Coffee Common began, I had a load of questions pertaining to the value of their participation in the TED conferences.

At the time there was a bit of a hullabaloo on the inter-webs over what was being perceived as a growing strain of elitism surrounding audience selection policies at TED. With that in mind, I questioned the value of interacting and aligning an ambassador of the 21st c. specialty coffee community with such an elite audience and organization. I worried that it would be a problematic relationship—that Coffee Common‘s ultimate goal was to spread the acceptance of specialty coffee throughout the land and that, given the aforementioned climate, participating in TED might seem contrary to that goal. There is that old saying: “It’s the company you keep”

The conversation got a little heated if I remember. Prickly.

Katie‘s above-quoted passage would have been welcome then as an explanation. Those that I received at the time from representatives of the then-new Coffee Common organization were understandably far more defensive—I was being critical of an organization that was trying to successfully get off the ground. Maybe sometimes it takes this long, and a certain level of detachment to get that answer.