For most of us, the world is one of connection and convenience. We (me for sure, maybe you, too) have grown very used to making a phone call or clicking a button and having things from anywhere in the world show up to our homes. We expect it to arrive undamaged. We’re annoyed if it’s late.

The danger of this convenience, of course, lies in losing sight of what makes it possible. We forget the planet, as small as it’s become, is still an enormous place and the sheer number of actions and transactions that go into procuring and then delivering anything from one place to another really should regularly blow our minds. 

It’s pretty magical that a bean half the size of your pinky fingernail can be organically grown 2,140 miles away (that’s Chiapas, Mexico, one of the closer coffee growing locales), harvested, dried, bagged and shipped to a small town in the Rocky Mountains, where it’s then carefully roasted, ground, brewed and enjoyed. 

Coffee is a commodity, and thank goodness it’s so readily available to most of the world. So available, in fact, that I’m often guilty of gulping down my cup and lunging into my day without pausing to consider the magic just experienced. Coffee is, as we all know, equally a luxury when it’s well-prepared and then lingered over. Next time you brew up, take a second and trace in your mind all the different things that have touched the beans making you a human right now. Some morning, pair your coffee with a read or revisit of the classic parable, I, Pencil  ( https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil/) by Leonard E. Read. 

And — thanks for being part of our huge little world. 

Cream, Sugar And Giving Back

It was the autumn of 2012. We were living in California where I’d taken a job with Patagonia. As was the custom, the company would pay all interested employees a full-day’s salary to leave their desks and volunteer with a chosen local group, and today’s activity was to clear out brush and trash from a portion of the Ventura River Bottom, which was a total mess. Unsightly doesn’t start to describe it. We all donned gloves and dragged our trashbags into the weeds and started picking up. 

The reason I tell this story is because by the end of our day trudging around in the riverbed, we had made progress that was sort of remarkable to me. None of us individually had done all that much (picking up trash or moving brush is just not that hard) but collectively, the effects were unmistakable. Maybe it was the first time I’d really seen how much happens when we operate on the law of efficiencies, where each does a little and together we do a lot.

This riverbed moment is part of the philosophy behind Gato’s Buck-a-Bag giving program. It’s hard for just about anyone to support all the worthy causes they’d like, especially in uncertain times of real financial worry. So why not pitch in a little as a group and maximize the effort? Coffee is a commodity. Great coffee is a privilege. We’re under no illusion that even our little company costs the earth – and we know part of doing responsible business on a beleaguered planet is to give something back. So every time you buy coffee from us, we’ll give a buck for every 16-oz bag  (75¢ for every 12-oz bag) to chosen non-profits doing things we believe in (and we’ll change those up a few times a year to spread the love).

We can only think of a few things that can make a great cup of coffee taste even better: cream, sugar — and giving back.

Our sincere thanks for your support.