I used to have a coffee blog. Over a period of nearly seven years, I published more than 500 posts related to my work with smallholder coffee growers in Mexico, Central America and South America. The time I spent on the blog was time I didn’t spend in the field, but it was hardly wasted time. I felt that it often made me more effective in the field. The need to put my ideas into writing forced me to structure my thinking more clearly. The act of thoughtful writing involves deliberation over every keystroke, careful construction of ideas from the ground up, and a systematic analysis of the logic behind those ideas. And the conversations the blog posts prompted with peers invariably sharpened my thinking even further, especially when those conversations challenged the ideas I advanced on the blog.
But over time the blog format didn’t just feel confining, it felt antiquated. The more I turned to podcasts as a way to pursue my own interests, the more I found myself wanting to replace, or at least complement, the blog’s asynchronous written-word exchanges with real-time recorded conversations. I understood that would mean trading off some of the deliberation involved in the writing process for the spontaneity and dynamism that only reveal themselves in conversation.
Next week, I will finally get my chance when we launch the Intelli Sourcing Sessions, a podcast to conversations about coffee’s origins that serve the company’s mission of Illuminating Coffee.
As luck would have it, I sit next to two coffee people who were sound engineers in previous lives who are producing and editing the show. I work with a genuine oracle in Geoff Watts, a specialty pioneer and coffee poet who I will lean on to generate lots of conversation. And Intelligentsia has spent 15 years building Direct Trade relationships with growers, millers and farmer organizations whose stories are endlessly compelling. The first episode airs on Tuesday.