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In a week’s time a disparate group of coffee companies and baristas plan to unite at TED’s 2011 Conference in Long Beach California serving coffee with a unified message – that coffee is the most complex and extraordinary beverage in the world. It is a drum that needs to be banged, and TED seems like a great place to bang it – a venue where great ideas are given space to breath and a spotlight of attention to permit their propagation. For those (few) unfamiliar with TED (which stands for Technology Entertainment and Design) it is a series of global conferences which has been running since 2006 under the motto “Ideas worth spreading”. All the talks are freely viewable online, and have been watched 100s of million of times. Speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Jamie Oliver to name but a few. My personal opinion having watched many of the talks, given by often less well known, but no less inspiring speakers is that I routinely come away moved and inspired on subjects I would have hitherto rarely considered. It is an amazing platform and all credit must be given to the Coffee Common committee not only for securing this as an opportunity one cup at a time, serving to those in attendance, to speak for the speciality coffee community, but also doing it in a way that eschews it being about one company, one coffee. If you are reading this, and have gotten this far – I insist you open a new page or tab and read the About page on the Coffee Common website – I would especially encourage the SCAE and SCAA to take note. This page articulates better in its 661 words a clear, reasoned expression of what speciality coffee is about in 2010 than either of the aforementioned sites’ numerous pages or documents. In the history of no-brainers, there has rarely been such a blatant one as the decision for Marco to agree to partner the Coffee Common and say yes to providing hot water solutions for TED.  Let’s bang the drum.

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