One little green bag. It sits on the shelf at my Starbucks, hardly ever touched.
The flashier bags get all the attention: Sumatra, Komodo Dragon, Cafe Verona, Espresso Roast, and Pike Place all come and go. It sits there…quietly, patiently.
Until the other day. Until a poor, frazzled man came in and asked me if we had any organic coffee. You could almost see that little green bag puff itself up. I lead the man over to the wall, and pull it off the shelf: Organic Shade Grown Mexico. The relief on the man’s face is evident. His sister-in-law is coming into town, and EVERYTHING must be organic. Coffee included.
So, I work on getting him a half pound (he didn’t need anymore than that…I got the feeling we weren’t trying to get the sis-in-law to move in!), ground it for him (yes, I do know that doing so means it is no longer Certified Organic, but the man needed help), bagged it up, and he was set to go. I was even able to give him the name of a local organic market in case the sis-in-law made any other odd organic demands. You can find *everything* organic at Trader Joe’s.
(I know two people who are dying with laughter right now. Shall we continue on?)
A few minutes later, E comes in. Now, I love seeing this guy come in for three reasons. One, he’s always pleasant. Two, he sometimes sits and hangs out with his eReader, which is always cool. But the third reason is the best: he loves good, bold coffee. It’s always exciting when you meet a customer who really cares about the coffee, who can appreciate the difference between an earthy Sumatra and a brightly acidic Gazebo. There’s one other customer who is the same, he actually always orders a French Press of something. The other night he and I had a discussion about the different coffees that come to the forefront in the various bags of Tribute Blend. With four different regions in there, sometimes you taste the Sumatra, sometimes the Papua New Guinea, etc.
But I digress.
E comes in, and says he wants to try something different: he wants a Chai Latte with no pumps and 1/3 milk. My shift stood there looking confused, until I pieced together that he wanted a Chai Tea misto. Phew!
Before I started on his drink, I looked at him and asked “Are you sure? I have some Organic Shade-Grown Mexico.”
His face lit up! “Why did you even let me order? You should have just said ‘E, don’t even bother, I know what you want!'” With that, E, and my shift, and I cracked up. So, I made E a venti coffee, and I made a short so that I could fill out my new coffee passport.
You know what? That’s really, really good coffee. And at least 7 people were made very happy…all because of one little green bag of beans.