TED, Meet Coffee. Coffee, this is TED.

I was talking to Stephen Morrissey of  Intelligentsia at Coffee Fest Chicago this last week and he was brimming with excitement over the latest project he (and many others) are working on. It’s called Coffee Common and it’s a unique endeavor, a collaborative effort between competitive roasters to promote coffee appreciation and understanding.

As the website says:

We of Coffee Common gather as a community with shared values. We understand coffee as the most complex and extraordinary beverage in the world. We believe that great coffee requires study, experimentation, craftsmanship, and humility. We believe that great coffee is, at its best, a collaboration of an empowered coffee farmer, an artisan coffee roaster, a dedicated barista, and an enlightened consumer. We believe that collaboration can be an act that promotes global economic prosperity, social parity, cultural exchange, and culinary expression.

Coffee Common is going to be an integral part of this year’s TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., from Feb. 28 through March 4. TED is annual conference for investigating the future, some call it “a Davos for optimists.” TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It was first held in 1984 and some of the projects it featured were things like the Macintosh computer and Sony’s compact disc format.

Participating roasters in Coffee Common include: Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Ritual, Square Mile, Has Been, Terroir, Counter Culture, and MadCap. The Coffee Common at TED is meant to build on the super-successful coffee pavilion at Slow Food, and frankly it sounds freakin’ awesome. I’m excited for everyone who is participating, and their work to bring a spotlight to specialty coffee among some the planet’s most influential and forward-looking thinkers is surely a great thing.


About Ken 263 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.