The aroma of strong, fresh-brewed coffee permeates the shop and I think about how I love purists like this on a Monday morning. This recognition that only caffeinated has the strength to boost the mind and rev the body to an acceptable level of energy. The underlying assumption that decaf is a shadow of the real thing. That decaf is settling for less, not giving one hundred percent, acting as a substitute – all those things are present in those four words of a mission statement: We Don’t Brew Decaf! The older I get the more I appreciate purists like this – purists who have not bought into the value of hundreds of choices. They make caffeinated or nothing. There is no choice.
And being who I am, I contemplate this the rest of the way to work. Where do I need to be a purist? Where do I need to hold to my values and not budge from them, no matter what the masses may want me to say? When is it important to hold to something, and, although willing to listen to others, recognize that it is an area where you will not negotiate? What is my “We Don’t Brew Decaf”?
The unapologetic strong words on a coffee shop sign saying “We Don’t Brew Decaf” is the philosophical challenge I need this Monday morning. The challenge to be the real thing, not a shadow of who I am supposed to be. The challenge that some things are worth sticking to, there are some things that should never be watered down. It’s a slippery slope down the dangerous path of the decaffeinated.