One of my responsibilities since joining the Wholesale team at Verve has been coordinating and performing coffee demos in various offices and grocery accounts. I can already feel the reader awkwardly averting their eyes for fear of somehow getting a dixie cup inserted into their hands. At least, that was the reaction I was expecting to receive from customers. However, despite my caffeine induced over-enthusiasm and personal goal to never lose a staring contest, shoppers have continued to surprise me with a genuine curiosity about coffee that has made so many of these demos an unexpectedly compelling experience.
While our blends are reliable crowd-pleasers, I especially enjoy showcasing the single origins we offer for selfish and, well, mostly selfish reasons. Chelchele is a current grocery offering and also happens to be my favorite coffee currently on our menu. With a fruit-forward vibrancy common to Ethiopian coffees, Chelchele also brings a floral nuance to the table that is a palate's dream come true. This soft acidity helps unmask its inherent complexity while its full body brings it back to a place that is familiar and unintimidating.
But that is only half the reason it sits on my top shelf. Chelchele can get someone talking faster than a good cop/bad cop routine. The glee in experiencing its delightful exuberance quickly manifests into a curiosity about its origin and that is where things get interesting. Before I know it, a conversation about trade practices, processing methods, brewing techniques, and a slew of other irresistible coffee topics is underway. That is when I know we have found a special coffee — when the coffee itself compels its consumer to learn more about its journey from seed to cup.
Though my demo table will miss Chelchele long after this year’s crop is exhausted, it has served as a prime example of how important it is to bridge the gap from Farmlevel to Streetlevel and how surprisingly effortless it can sometimes be. That, and why you must never waver in a staring contest.