I like to think of myself as a minimalist. In today's world that is a statement full of contradictions. I type this on my MacBook Pro while listening to my pop punk Spotify playlist while drinking a $3 cup of black coffee as I communicate with friends on my iPhone. Hypocrite.
How about bikes? I like "simple" bikes ... yet I have 7 of them. Sure some are city cruisers (like the IKEA SLADDA bike), commuters, gravel grinders, and the like, but in my mind it is a "simple" and "reasonable" collection. Even my beloved old school circa 2001-2002 "simple" bike is fully upgraded with the latest everything from drivetrain to brakes to dropper and the like.
How about coffee? Again, I like to think of myself as a minimalist in this realm. I mean, I drink my coffee straight black. But the electric kettle to Minipresso to new burr grinder (electric and hand grinder) and the like certainly makes the case that it isn't so simple after all. Besides, I'm pretty OCD about things like my grind, specific water temp when brewing, brew methods, etc. When brewing I factor in barometric pressure, humidity, room temperature, and ... ok, not really, but you get the point. Hypocrite.
How about Loam Coffee? Are we minimalists? Probably not. Not only is coffee roasting a true fusion of art and science but in everything else we do we do with intention, strategy, and an obsessive amount of forethought (or at least we hope).
What's the point?
In everything we do and everything we're about there's the inherent tension between complexity and minimalism. Our bikes are mind-boggling complex and the birth child of the latest science, engineering, and artist creativity. And yet ... when we're out on the trail that all fades into the background. We forget about how or where our carbon frames or wheelsets were made, how many grams our new rear derailleur weighs, or the exact travel of our suspension. We simply ride. The complexity of bikes allows for the simplicity of our experiences. Suck wind on the long sustained climbs. Squeal like children on descents.
The same is with coffee. Sure the fusion of art and science creates the coffee you're drinking as well as how you brew it. But that all disappears after you take your first sip.
Yes, we live in a world of contradictions. We don't need to resolve these tensions because in many ways complexity and minimalism go hand-in-hand.
Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photos by Grant Benesh