Deepening Our Resolve

There was a slightly more intense tone at Symposium this year that I can only attribute to a deepened resolve. Specialty may be challenged by a weakened economy, significant consolidation of the market, and some dramatic new entries but the industry remains unabashedly focused on quality.

The session on mass-market single cup options was divisive, yet served as important context for a debate around differentiation. We lined up K-cup® and Starbucks’ soluble innovation VIA™ alongside boutique methods such as the Clever®, Hario V60 Dripper, and Chemex® as well as the new BUNN Trifecta Machine for a reason…we hoped lines would be drawn, and many were.

The discussion further intensified around challenging and complex topics such as Hunger in the Coffeelands, Growing Consumption, and with the final session on the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative that proposed a solution to the growing threat of supply shortages for higher quality coffee…ultimately leaving the final question unanswered—can we achieve this? Whether that question is inspiring or overwhelming, there is no choice but to answer it affirmatively. Yes, we can achieve anything with the right people in the same room having a dialogue and defining actions.