Since the revolutionary act of throwing British tea overboard, we have had a complex connection to coffee. Coffeehouses have been the place of egalitarian gatherings, serving as the gastronomic guise under which revolutionary thought brewed. Yet, while coffee became the grounds for the exchange of ideas, it ironically also fueled the exchange of slave labor in European colonial conquests. What does drinking coffee mean today in our sprawled-out region? Can it help us be more connected and more aware?
Coffee Quest 419—a month-long event that brought together twelve local coffee shops in the Toledo region—was simply a foretaste of what could be: Toledo organizations and businesses coming together in the interest of community, all around something as simple as a cup of coffee. For centuries, food and drink have been the means of communion with each other—a moment to relax, enjoy, and connect.
When you go to pick up your t-shirt (available now!), consider how Toledo can move beyond a month-long event to come together as a community. If a simple cup of coffee can fuel us to do something together, how about the algae bloom water crisis, the education system, and the health and well-being of our city? Let us take this good beginning to move forward as a community by continuing to foster a sense of collective identity. Let us brew some revolutionary thought over a steaming cup of joe, coming together with new purpose and new vision for the city we call home.