As Broadoak came into being we wrestled long and hard (probably too long and too hard) with the myriad choices that came our way.  What importers would we work with; would we travel to origin; what kinds of packaging would we use; how often would we roast; would we mail our coffee by courier or Royal Mail...the list goes on, but I won’t; it’s boring enough to me!  

Oftentimes the most obvious choice didn’t in fact end up being the best one.  We could use way cheaper packaging than we do, but it would stay in the earth forever once the coffee is drunk, so we’ve chosen to be limited by our ecological commitments.  We could try and have our own stories of going to origin and meeting with the farmers that grow the coffee we roast, but we don’t have that kind of money or time and so we’ve reconciled ourselves to not travelling more than we already do.  Many coffee roasters go to origin, perhaps that’s enough.

Each time we were stumped by a decision we knew that the limitations of our life created the most reliable lens through which to make our choices.  

We are limited, along with everybody else, in very many ways.  Sometimes I find myself bemoaning these limitations and looking around me and imagining that other people have way more freedom than I do.  I know this is absurd, but I do it anyway.

And then I am out early with our dog Minn and I know I wouldn’t be out at that silly hour unless I had a dog who needed a lot of exercise.  In a moment this morning I understood that I am limited to this: to going out before dawn with the snow gently falling on my face and the hoot of the tawny owl that lives, so it seems, in the small oak before the bridge and the knowledge that the limitation of my responsibilities are a gateway to joy.

David Aupperlee