(Guest post by Sarah Cunningham).
Sometimes I unforgivably forget how lucky I am. I live in a beautiful, safe city. I work full time and have health insurance. I have a lovely home, and I am surrounded by those I hold dear. And yet, despite all these blessings, I still sometimes go on auto-pilot, forgetting to be thankful for each wonderful new day that I am fortunate enough to wake up to. ..And then I will stumble across something so lovely and unique that it reminds me to be grateful…
Such a thing just happened to me the other day as I meandered through a leisurely lunch-time stroll, only to stumble across the little gem of Bourbon Coffee. Bourbon Coffee is nestled into its cozy little niche on 21st and L, and it is home to the first retail brand of coffee to come from Africa, specifically, Rwanda. The entrepreneurs who run it go by the philosophy of bringing coffee to you from “crop to cup“, committing to purchasing coffee directly from farmers at a fair price, and to thereby help the Rwandan economy grow through coffee. It doesn’t get much better than that, huh?
The story behind Bourbon Coffee is so lovely, indeed, that you can’t help but feel enveloped by the goodness the second you walk through the cafe’s doors. The atmosphere is calm and warm, with earthy-tones decorated with framed Rwandan art, depicting the culture from which this coffee comes. The menu is very inviting, with truly reasonable prices (and prices I am so happy to pay, knowing what it is we are paying for!), and the staff is nothing but the friendliest. I sipped up the most delish white chocolate mocha my tastebuds have ever encountered, and I lusted greatly over the pastries glistening in the window.
As I walked (slowly, oh so slowly) back to work with my white chocolate mocha in tow, I was thinking about the journey that coffee took to my cup. From a country just a decade out of a brutal civil war, fought over man-made divisions between a people from the same land…And the roots of that civil war–from the colonialist powers that threw it into chaos and created those divisions that never-before existed, that don’t truly exist in any real way…And how it is now, a country remaking itself, healing itself from unfathomable wounds; a country being reborn. And a group of entrepreneurs committed to helping that rebirth through something as simple as coffee. I was just hit with how beautiful that effort is, and how extremely fortunate I am that I have never experienced something as heart-breaking as the people of Rwanda have…And it is things like Bourbon that remind me: make gratitude the biggest part of your day…And that is what I want to do, really and truly…And when you go to Bourbon, you will feel the same way, I guarantee it! :-)