Unless you were already a billionaire when 2020 began, this last year was probably a rough one for you. Nothing has magically changed now that the calendar has reset, but that doesn’t mean the symbolism of a new year can’t inspire us to claim a little more autonomy over our lives. Here are five coffee resolutions we’re making in 2021, and we hope you join us!
Learn Some Geography
Most coffee-lovers can taste the difference between a coffee from Brazil and Ethiopia, but what about Cauca and Huila? (For the record, they are two of our favorite growing regions in Colombia, each with a distinctive flavor profile.) The coffee-growing world is immense, but we want to pay closer attention to the places and people who produced our morning cup. Whether it’s a community washing station in Burundi or a family-owned estate in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, we want to learn at least one new thing about each coffee we drink this year.
Upgrade Your Grinder
Even with vaccinations starting around the world, the Covid-19 epidemic is still going strong, and you should probably be staying home. There’s never been a better time to upgrade your grinder, which is the single most important thing you can do to improve the quality of your home-brew. A great place to start is the recently revamped Baratza Virtuoso. This grinder is a serious step up from their entry-level Encore, but a lot more affordable than their higher-end Vario. Or, if you’re looking to blow your entire stimulus check, why not go for the top-of-the-line Forté?
Tip Your Barista, A Lot
In our opinion, baristas are essential workers. In the very least, they should be getting hazard pay. But they’re probably not. So if you can’t be bothered to make your own coffee during a pandemic, the least you can do is throw a few extra bucks in the tip jar.
Buy Coffee Directly From Independent Roasters
A curious thing happened last year on the commodity market: Coffea arabica futures went down while robusta futures went up. The reason: more people were stuck at home buying instant coffee. Take it from someone who used to work for an independent coffee roaster: local businesses need your cash a lot more than Nestlé, who had a banner year in 2020. Grocery stores often negotiate a lower wholesale price, so if you can, buy your whole bean coffee directly from independent cafés or online. A monthly coffee subscription is a good way to start!
Drink More Coffee
Coffee has been in crisis for some time. People a lot smarter than us are trying to solve it. But one thing is for sure: drinking more coffee couldn’t hurt. Per-capita coffee consumption in the US peaked in the 1940s. The biggest reason for the decline? The rise of carbonated soft drinks. Studies suggest that people who drink coffee instead of cola tend to be healthier and live longer. Besides, in the midst of a global pandemic, we can all use more simple pleasures in our life, and it’s hard to think of a simpler pleasure than a perfectly-extracted cup of coffee.