Chris Benjamin

chrisbenjamin.com – my corner of the internet

Coffee and Community

August 5th, 2013

That’s an appetizing title, isn’t it?  I thought about naming this entry “The Demise of the Coffee Pot” but that just seems ominous and grouchy.  I also considered “Reflections on a Keurig” but that is too highbrow.  Besides, I want some corporate kickback if I am going to mention Keurig – (aw, did it again).

I remember Stout’s Grocery.  It was the family run grocery and gas station on Highway 71 at the bottom of our hill in Brentwood, Arkansas.  If you went to Stout’s at the right time of the morning, you could catch the “Brentwood City Council” meeting.  It wasn’t official of course as Brentwood was unincorporated, but the folks from all around were gathered and drinking coffee and discussing all the news that mattered for our area.  The only excuse our unofficial community needed to gather for business was drinking coffee.  The only coffee available was whatever the Stout’s had brewing.  Sugar and creamer was about all you could have to personalize it.

Last week we bought a Keurig for the office.  It was a community effort.  We were all opening the box like a new Christmas present.  Here is this device that can brew anyone his or her own flavor or brand of coffee – even tea – without wasting an entire pot of coffee.  No more negotiations on caf or decaf.  No more compromise on Folgers vs French Vanilla.  Everyone gets a cup of personal choice.  No longer is there the coffee pot from which we all drink – all of you from all of it.

I wonder what this means for community?  I wonder if Keurig will be like Coke and Xerox and lend its brand name to all single cup coffee brewing machines?  I wonder what the Brentwood City Council would think about all of this?