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The Power of Human Connection in Sustainable Coffee Consumption

Updated: Jun 9

I love going to farmer's markets in Costa Rica; it's such a stimulating experience. The vibrant colors, enticing aromas, diverse flavors, and bustling crowds create a magical atmosphere. I especially enjoy dressing up and feeling like I'm stepping into a fairy tale. It may sound romantic, but it truly is. Observing people—what they wear, what they buy—is also fascinating to me. In these public gatherings, we often exhibit polite and friendly behavior, which I find uplifting. It serves as a reminder that the negativity we see on social media or in the news doesn't always reflect reality entirely.

Costa Rican Farmers

Being surrounded by so many people and stimuli helps us stay present. Personally, when something catches my eye, I love asking the vendor about their offerings and the stories behind them, as it adds a unique dimension to the experience. And if the vendor possesses the skills of communication, charm, and connection—the latter being the most crucial—it's highly likely that I'll end up purchasing their product, even if I didn't initially intend to.

Creating a connection between the consumer and the producer, fostering relational proximity, is one of the ways to promote sustainable consumption behavior throughout the food chain, especially inside the coffee industry. This principle holds true for me every time I visit the markets. Reading through this insightful scientific article, with its rigorous writing and mathematical calculations, reaffirms what we already know: human connection is a fundamental need. It profoundly influences our behavior, whether positively or negatively.

We may not always like to admit it, especially those of us who value intellect and critical thinking, but our emotions and experiences ultimately dictate our consumption behavior. If we feel a connection with the product or find the seller appealing to us, we're more likely to make a purchase. So, it begs the question: if we want to encourage sustainable consumption, and perhaps even foster it through human connection, how do we create a connection between the product and the consumer in places as mundane as the supermarket, or even as impersonal as Amazon? Design comes to mind as my initial response. It's about considering it as an extension of ourselves, of our intention. A blog could also serve as a powerful tool, much like the one I'm using now.

Thank you for reading this far. I think and feel deeply, sometimes sharing everything, and sometimes not. This blog will tell the story of our company, from growing coffee beans on our farm in Costa Rica to selling them in Edmonton, Canada. But it's not just about that; it's also about everyday life, business, emotions, and the challenges of chasing our dreams, even when they seem impossible. But above all, I hope it serves as a testament to the intensity and simplicity with which I view and experience life, and the analysis that's worth making of everyone's experiences.

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Many people find writing so difficult, but your blog post rolls along beautifully - and I dare say - begins that "relational proximity" with the reader. Brava! I read the linked research article and a few of its fun references: "The development of an emotion lexicon for the coffee drinking experience" and "Mindfulness and Eating: An Experiment Examining the Effect of Mindful Raisin Eating on the Enjoyment of Sampled Food". Thanks ;) Based on the title of your blog post and your experiential coffee tastings what are your ultimate goals in regards to your audience here (blog), and there (tastings)? The 4 proxies for Sustainable Consming in the Teikei experiment were Product evaluation, Consumers' attitude, Consumers' Willingness to Pay…

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