We pondered this question for some time as a team, and clearly settled on ‘yes’ but then we were stuck with the logical follow-up: what should we write about? To answer that question, we need to back up just a bit so you can know more about who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Kevin (left) and Steven (right) in their extremely glamorous website headshots.
The ‘we’ in the statement above refers to the co-founders of Quartet Coffee Kevin Smith and Steven Hicks. Kevin (writing this blog) has been roasting coffee for about five years and, honestly, I just love the process of roasting and preparing coffee. There is a ritual to it that slows me down in a way that I desperately need sometimes, and of course I love the final product. One of the best coffee days I have had in a while was when a recent storm knocked out power early in the morning for several hours – I got to pull out my hand coffee grinder, put my pourover kettle on the gas stove and make single cup pourovers for my wife and I. It was delightful.
Either a Belgian farmhouse from the 19th century or an actual photo of Kevin's makeshift pre-industrial coffee setup.
Suffice to say, coffee is simply a passion for me. Steven is also enamored by the beverage, but perhaps with a different focus. For him the beauty of coffee doesn’t stop with the process of roasting (Steven, too, has tried his hand at home roasting) and preparing, but actually extends to the way that it brings people together. It can serve as the backdrop to great conversations, lively debate, or shared purposes and community engagement. If you ask Steven – an avid world traveler - the possibility of how coffee can impact so many people from farm to cup so positively is worth the investment all on its own
And so, with these two parallel passions we had a providential encounter. We came to know each other through a church called The Square in Smyrna, Georgia. I roasted some bright and acidic Kenyan for an event at the church and Steven tracked me down afterwards to make sure we talked about it and about his passion for service and community impact. We had lunch and both felt like there was something good in our future, but we didn’t really know what it looked like.
Early drafts of our mission emblem.
It wasn’t until we were brainstorming names that our vision began to clear up. We wanted to impact vulnerable people and we were guided by a passage in Zechariah where the prophet spoke to the people of Bethel who had become focused on themselves throughout their religious rituals. In the passage he says “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor.” These four groups became the quartet that inspired our name. We came into existence so that we may fight their oppression using coffee as our medium to do so.
So that’s us – a couple coffee nerds with a mission to turn their passion into something positive. Which brings us back to the blog! We want to talk about our passion – from the basics of coffee prep to the gear that we use personally to the stories about the coffee farms we work with to the way that we are impacting the vulnerable – we want you to hear from us on everything. And we want to hear from you! If there is something you are interested in reading about, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We want to hear from you and we hope that this blog will give you more insight about what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, why we do it. Stay tuned for more articles. Cheers!