Black is the new Black
How a return to the past is the new rebellion.
Back in the eighties microwaves were quite common and spurred debates about the effects of lives lived too fast. The music media of choice was the tape cassette and, if you were“all that”, you had a boom box. You didn’t search tracks but instead you had to fast forward > and rewind < and sometimes you could spend your free time on a weekend waiting around the radio listening for your favorite song to come on so you could press record  to save it to a blank tape. Sometimes the tape in the cassette would go wonky and start to spit itself out of the cassette rendering your beats useless, unless you were very lucky and able to rewind it using a pencil. Talk about SLOOOOOOOW PACE! Well, fast forward 40 years and the speed of life today is faster than butter melting in the hotly contested microwave.
Life in 2023 moves very rapidly. Like kick it into high gear double fast forward FF>>, We who witnessed the dawn of the internet have raised the first generation to grow up online. The effects of this massive shift towards the virtual leaves no one unaffected. On an individual level no one escapes without feeling the overwhelm of all things vying for our attention. On a global level there is an extreme amount of volatility. War, migratory crisis, food insecurities and inflation are constant and daily barrages. Does life today actually require us to move to a faster tempo in order to meet the never ending socio economic stressors and demands for attention?
Some say we are living through a silent depression that makes the depression era of bygone days look not that bad. Its like we are getting paid in tape cassettes and are trying to cash in at the bank of spotify. Every-one feels the struggle but no one is talking about it. The fact is, that for the most part, economic earnings across the board have not significantly changed in the last 50 years. Yet for all intents and purposes every day costs are 4x higher and inflation further erodes the distance your dollars can go. This set of circumstances certainly pose some challenges.
For some, these financial challenges are more severe. Many will struggle to make rent or find a meal. For others it will mean cutting back in one way or another or finding ways to supplement the budget. In many circumstances forgoing luxuries is an easy target and as much as we think coffee is a need, we realize it is actually a want and specialty grade coffee a luxury. We understand the value of a dollar and know what it is like to worry about how you will pay the rent so we take pride in our work and aim to give you a cup of coffee you can really value. Our manifesto at Coffee Culture Revival is making a lot of lives a little better, one cup at a time and it is truly our honor and our mission to be an uplifting part of your day. Not just a coffee, a Revival.
There is a term coined by American writer, Marc Prensky, called “digital native” that describes those born after the 80’s, millennials and Gen Z. A digital native, opposed to a digital migrant, can comfortably, quickly and voraciously consume digital media. Generations, raised entirely in a world where technology infiltrates and is integrated into every day. Not only do they use these platforms for entertainment, socializing and information but also for learning and for advocating social justice and political change. They help shape trends. Due to this engrained and essential reality of technological use, the brains of these generations are actually different. Repeated exposure has actually stimulated physiological changes to occur, growing some pathways and reducing others compared to the older generations. ANy one remember their mother screaming at them to not stand in front of the microwave? Maybe we should have. The neurological difference explains the gap in tech ability between generations and also is a stark identifier that life in 2023 is radically different to the core and that virtual reality, where online interactions are more common than face to face connections, is actual reality.
It’s clear that life today is drastically different and so is coffee consumption. Cold coffee has been the leading market driver in coffee for the past several years and continues to dominate sales. Gaining in popularity though is RTD coffees or ready to drink coffee found in the refrigerator section in a can. This trend is made popular by the younger generations and they are also demanding that there be more function in their coffee. For example, many RTD’s come preloaded with collagen, vitamins, antioxidants and other performance enhancing ingredients.
With no dip in demand for coffee and this younger generation driving trends amidst fears about coffee sustainability and climate change, beanless coffee is creeping into the sphere of coffee markets. Just like meatless burgers, beanless coffee is an alternate or pseudo coffee and attempts at a coffee cherry free brew is being attempted. Some companies will use ingredients like chicory root, dandelion, grape seed, dates and fermented lentil, rye, barley and millet.
Now, you can trust me, when I say I care about environmental health and the future of the coffee shrub a whole lot but beanless coffee is where the high pitched whine of the >> fast forwarding tape cassette comes to screeching halt and the extra loud clunk of the FF button snaps to a deafening close. Cachunk! Full stop. Silence. Or for those on the other side of the gap, black screen, battery level 0%
We have come a long way from the 80's and the days of microwave fear mongers. Would you know that the first Starbucks opened their doors in the 70’s with plain black coffee and then paved the way to 10$ coffee and coffee as a specialty beverage, even coining the term “Frappuccino”. Without Starbucks we would still be drinking 10cent diner swill out of Styrofoam cups or freeze dried from the pantry. Or even worse, gasp, reheating the coffee in the microwave to soon take a nuclear hot first sip. After all, if it didn’t sit a proper time long enough out of the microwave it might continue microwaving in your guts.
But here’s the thing, for all the advances in awareness, food, health and technologies, general life satisfaction and well being continue to decline while depression, suicidal ideation and self harm continue to rise.
In a general social survey from the late 70’s to 2016,Twenge et al 2016, asked “how would you say things are these days, would you rank yourself very happy, pretty happy or not too happy” and found that happiness peaked in the 90’s.
Some posit this decline to a decrease in social capitol and social support (sachs 2017) and increase in substance abuse and obesity (sachs 2018).
Tied to and in relation to all these credible explanation I think is how we are spending our leisure time. And this is the point I’m trying to make. I posit that we all need to slow down and simplify. Take a step away from the bombardment of the screen and life in the fast lane where 100 things will be demanding our attention, step out of line where choice overload causes decision paralyses. The point of this article is to suggest finding happiness and dare I say real joy in the simple things. I think we need to step back sometimes and return to the slower pace of 80’s where somehow there was time to wait around for your favorite song to come on the radio! Truth be told I am not convinced the stressors are worse today or that the challenges of current events mean we have to run faster races. I think it is just a shift of where we let our focus be spent.
Instead of letting the screens soak up our moments, take a walk outdoors or just sit in the presence of a loved one. I’ll pose a radical suggestion here and suggest cracking open a bible. I’ve recently found out that inviting Jesus into your life is much like sitting in the warmth of the sun. Ultimately though and a great and favorite way to habitually infuse a focused moment of happiness into your day is with a nice hot cup of coffee. And because life really is too short for bad coffee and standing in lines for unicorn frappicinos I am going to suggest some really good high quality coffee. None among us are not feeling the pinch of the economy so instead of quantity or mediocrity give yourself a moment of joy with a really good coffee.
With fresh and organic coffee from www.coffeeculturerevival.com you can have barista level coffee at home with just a means to boil water and a few minutes to prepare it. Say NO to corporate coffee. Say no to commodity coffee. Our single origin, specialty grade coffees are by design from crop to cup selected for maximum flavor enjoyment. They are smooth, rich and tasty and we even suggest drinking them black and savoring the flavors of each unique origin, much the same way one would enjoy fine wines or whiskeys. Also as with wines each region will impart it's own unique flavor profile, a phenomenon known as terroir. The elite quality of specialty grade coffee avoids the negative effects and synthetics of lesser coffees and promotes many positive benefits. Premier black coffee has many health benefits including antioxidants. With a great base a bonus benefit to your wallet and waist means you can also avoid milks, sugars and chemical laden creamers. Specialty grade coffee is not commodity coffee. It is also a community that keeps sustainability and the preservation of the coffee plant at the forefront. If you love coffee and have not yet tried, specialty grade and fresh coffee, it is a must for any coffee connoisseur.
All you need to get started is our coffee lovers combo set. As one happy coffee customer writes: “It helps me make coffee a ritual I do for myself in solitude, rather than in the hustle and bustle of the outside world.”
As a moment of self care or time shared with a friend, a good cup of hot coffee can transform your mood and elevate the moment. Ken Davis writes about a moment he had with specialty grade coffee like being exalted to the palm of God. Wahhhhhhh, clouds part and angels sing.
If you want more out of your coffee, and ultimately your day, please say no. Say no to collagen and protein in your coffee, you can get that in high quality in a piece of meat or some nuts. Please definitely stand up and shout NO to dandelion, dates or fermented rye in your cup! Another coffee revivalist says “Coffee is a seed not a weed” or a grain and for heavens sake lets not forget the caffeine!
Push pause. Step out of line and off the fast track. Be a trail blazer. Black is the new Black.
Roastmaster and CEO, Laurie Cowan