Aloof Coffee: In Defense of Aloofness

2012 March 2
by Joe Johnston

Aloof Coffee (see earlier post “New Coffee Concept Makes Roasting Obsolete“) has received unwarranted criticism from many potential customers and “third wave” coffee proponents regarding our aloofness. It is as though aloofness is considered a negative trait. We chose our company name carefully and consider “aloof” to be a strongly positive word, a virtuous word. Though we have ignored the criticism until now, we determined it is time to explain our point of view.

Webster’s Dictionary defines aloof as “removed or distant either physically or emotionally”. Since we know that our idea (coffee must not be roasted: it is a violent act which degrades coffee and the coffee growers) is superior to the ideas of others, we must distance ourselves from them. We must set ourselves on a pedestal, knowing that this will give us the role of teacher to instruct and guide others into the truth. Any sort of bonding with those holding opposing views only implies that their ideas are of equal weight, which ultimately is not even in their best interest. Our highest aim is to convert those who hold wrong views on coffee to our way of thinking. We understand that this may involve some arguing, berating, and condescension, but it is with the noblest of goals. We would also point out that those of the “third wave” who practice aloofness against “second wave” coffee people may be disingenuous in their criticism of our aloofness.

Furthermore, the fact that society clearly admires aloofness is demonstrated by mass advertising. Browse any fashion magazine and assess the attitude of the models. Are they wearing a welcoming, happy expression? Of course not. Madison Avenue understands that people are attracted to aloofness. The emotional distancing implies that the product the model is promoting is superior to yours and that there is distain for your wrongheadedness. This brings the viewer to the conclusion that they have an inferior fashion sense that can be remedied by purchasing the product shown. Aloofness is a positive motivator for change and action. Advertisers would not bother with it, if it did not work.

In conclusion, we are proud to be aloof. Are we smug? Perhaps. But is it wrong to be certain of the truth and uphold it all costs, including possible relational damage? We think not. We remain unapologetic about being aloof and the great positive our remaining so brings to the coffee world.


(Note: This continues the entirely fictitious Aloof Coffee saga. The story is meant to foment thought on how we think about coffee and people. You may wish to review my earlier posts on the “Religion of Coffee” for a deeper look.)


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