Thrift is a virtue and one we all take pride in. We let others know about the bargains and good deals we make, and no matter how many sweet deals we have under our belt, we always have the energy to do our research and find the best deals around. Especially now in the age of connectivity and ecommerce, an extensive google search can take you very far and deep into every corner of the world, all for the sake of a good deal. But on the other hand, I’ve also come to learn that there are certain things that remain worth the splurge.
Coffee hits an interesting sweet spot when it comes to economics. On one end of the spectrum, it is a generic good, so naturally we want it as cheap as possible, but on the other hand, it is a labor intensive commodity, and when at its best, it is a luxury. Equally enjoyed across cultures and social classes. Isn’t it interesting that coffee is served in soup kitchens across the world, but it is also served with gold leaves in the most expensive cafés and restaurants of the world?
Our purchases are a vote towards the type of world and community we want to build, and on behalf of coffee farmers and crafters, I can tell you that coffee is certainly on the splurge list. Why? Because your splurge guarantees economic opportunities and a dignified livelihood to third-world farmers. When you spend those extra cents, you are casting a vote towards craftsmanship and opportunities. This question is quite old. Many opposed the Emancipation of Slaves in the nineteenth century due to fears for the world economy which was largely based on the work of slaves, but now we can see how our numbers adjusted to the belief that we should not subject a section of our population to unfair work.
When budgeting, our expenses and income say a lot about ourselves. Our income reflects on what we give to our communities through our work, and our expenses expose what it is that we value. So next time you set time aside to look at your personal budget, I highly recommend you to lower the numbers in what I call an ‘empty expense’ or money that is simply going nowhere of value, and allocate those funds towards better coffee. Better for you and for the people growing it. That way, slowly but surely, your vote towards a world of mutual appreciation and economic opportunity will make a more fair world possible.