Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Gutsy Online Coffee Shop:

I buy very expensive, delicious coffee – from time to time – from This website is run by George Howell, who, many years ago, operated the best online and "bricks and mortar" coffee places, called “The Coffee Connection” (in Boston). Terroir sells carefully selected, carefully prepared, often free-trade coffee. I recently got an order from them, and a week later received this email:
Dear customer,
In line with our mission of providing only exemplary quality we are shipping you, at our expense, another shipment of the Kenya Mamuto you just received. It was roasted too darkly, excessively masking the intense blackberry notes that make this coffee so extraordinary.
Kenya coffees are the most challenging coffees to roast, tolerating very little variance, with mere seconds making significant differences in the flavor profile. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.

I tasted the replacement coffee this morning. Now here’s the thing: If I couldn’t taste the difference, would I ever buy from them again? How could I spend all those dollars on their coffee if I was oblivious to their subtlety?

Fortunately, I could taste a difference. I think Terroir showed immense respect for their customers, treating me this way, and I look forward to buying more of their coffee soon.

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