Are we really too good for 20 minute old coffee?
In Canada, there is a company that advertises that their coffee is always “20 minutes fresh”. After 20 minutes, they throw out the coffee, including the beans. Tim Horton's "Always Fresh" is a source of pride for the company.
I recently witnessed an employee dump out an entire pot of coffee because it was no longer “fresh enough”. I heard her call out, “this one’s out of date”, as she poured the entire pot down the sink. As I watched, I became aware that this practice happens in every store across the country, every 20 minutes. I was appalled at how wasteful it was to just dump it down the sink. I remember thinking, “fresh enough for who?”. Are we that privileged that we can waste so much?
Since when do we support this blatant consumerism? We’ve become so focused on how fresh our coffee is that we’ve forgotten about the impacts of mass consumption. We take for granted the amount of work and sacrifice that real people put in so that we can have that coffee. People grow the coffee beans, harvest them, roast them, package them, and then transport them. Further, we harm the environment in order to mass produce the coffee, and then we harm it again by creating so much waste.
While 20 minute fresh coffee sounds great, can many people taste the difference? Are we being tricked by a marketing team at the expense of our values, our environment, and our community? Is it really worth it?