Shrub is 4 years old! Makes me so happy to think that this idea that we had that we weren’t 100% sure about whether it would truly be useful has found such a rich and thriving community of roasters all over the world to work with. Since day one we have strived to provide access for roasters all over to exceptional coffees and access to coffees from all over to exceptional roasters. We have also firmly believed that part of this access to coffees was also about access to information, and support for roasters through one on one interactions, resource articles, interviews, cuppings, and events. I’d like to believe that this has been an integral part of what has made Shrub something special for everyone involved. We knew going into this that these resources would be so important because of our experiences with Sweet Maria’s and watching how that endeavor grew into an institution because of it’s well laid out and thorough articles. And even with that we have always tried to grow and adapt along with our community without losing the things that we did really well from the start, and hopefully doing those things even better.
Working with roasters is an especially important part of this whole endeavor for us. We always wanted this project to be an open dialog. We carefully curate our coffee offerings to not just be a list of exotic and wild coffees, but coffees we think are really spectacular for a number of reasons. These are the coffees that we want to have a conversation about, and we always hoped that we could extend that conversation to other roasters and continue that part of the story either through articles or through our comments section. Our comments section has always been one of the most important parts of this business to us, we really want to know about your experiences with these coffees. And through the comments section we’ve even been able to troubleshoot with roasters who have had problems with certain beans and I’m proud to say that we’ve always been able to resolve those issues through open dialog and talking about how to approach roasting these coffees.
Understanding that this wealth of resources and this open line of communication between you folks and ourselves is such an important part of who we are, we are always working to keep our website fresh with new content as well as looking at ways to make the older content more accessible and easy to search through. We also have seen great response to specific pieces that we will continue to produce as well as build their own sections for so that they’re easy to peruse through. We want folks to be able to easily access and reference articles such as the Stretching the Roast series or Teaching to Taste article, and we love to hear feedback and receive comments on those pieces, keeping them alive and making them dynamic open discussions.
One feature that we’ll definitely continue to work on is Talking about Roasting wherein I speak to roasters directly about their experiences with certain coffees and how they approached them as well as what customer reaction has been to the coffees, continuing the story of those coffees all the way to the cup. I also like to talk to them about their machines and their approach to those as well, I’ve always felt that this is a great resource to other roasters who may be struggling with the same machine or considering purchasing a new one. We’ll also continue our Fundamentals feature which looks at the challenges of sourcing coffees in certain areas as well as the approach to roasting those coffees. This is a feature that I believe can truly start some really rewarding and compelling interactions with roasters and otherwise and so I will be reaching out to some folks for their thoughts on these pieces, but please never hesitate to comment, we love your comments, live for them.
So happy birthday Shrub. I like to tell myself that Tom and Maria opened Shrub up around this time as a birthday present to me since mine is right around now as well, but really it’s just because we got together at the Roasters Guild Retreat and sat down and worked out some of the things we had been discussing over that summer. We really felt, and still strongly do, that we could put something together that provided something truly unique to this community and that we could help keep the discussion about our craft and our coffees vibrant, dynamic, engaging , and open, and accessible. Access has always been our key driven concept. So stoked to be a part of something so amazing.
Thanks Shrub, and thank you to all of you that have ever taken part in this dialog, either actively, or simply by roasting some of our coffees and serving them to your people. Respect and Gratitude!