Guest Blogger - Cody Jung
As a coffee drinker, one of my favorite past times is riding my bike to one of the many great roasters in San Diego, and buying a new bag of beans along with a freshly brewed cup. I love the daily ritual of making coffee in the morning, and the need for a new bag of beans always doubles as a special treat in which I get to have some great coffee made for me, chat with the baristas, and even learn a new technique here and there. Third-wave coffee is given life by the many people who include a similar (daily, weekly, or monthly) schedule into their agenda. Cafe culture is based upon the in and out flow of coffee drinkers from the casual partaker to the discerning connoisseur.
The protocols of many communities during these past few months have sadly halted the coffee shop flow as we know and love. With many shops closed (though some in San Diego have been able to gradually reopen), the quality beans that we crave are inaccessible unless roasters have the resources to sell online and ship their products. More importantly, roasters and coffee shops around the nation are struggling to stay afloat without the influx of coffee drinkers that they normally serve.
What can be done? Are we to say goodbye to the roasters that have provided us with beans for years? By no means–this is where NO DECAF ALLOWED plays an integral role in third-wave coffee. NO DECAF ALLOWED functions as an online service dedicated to connecting local, craft, third-wave coffee roasters with people who love (or are learning to love) the best coffees available. While NO DECAF ALLOWED is primarily concerned with providing its customers with quality beans, it also allows roasters a platform beyond the cafe setting to showcase and sell their unique roasts. Fortunately, my local shop has made their beans available despite the pandemic, but with NO DECAF ALLOWED, I can also support a roaster like Insight Coffee of Sacramento and compare their African bean to another African bean. Maybe one recipe brings out a flavor profile in a coffee from my local roaster, that is more subtle than a similarly classed bean from a roaster located across the country!
Times are hard for small businesses (and nearly everyone) right now, so please, continue to support your local coffee shops and roasters as best as you can right now, but also consider supporting a roaster that you have never heard of before. One that might be local to me, but not local to you. It is as easy as subscribing to one of the packages made available by NO DECAF ALLOWED–now get out there, drink new coffee, and support our local roasters!