Monday, May 12, 2008

Barcodes and Brazil

ShopRite in Manchester now carries Bean & Leaf. Gotta get the font right on the barcodes and then we are good to go. I had no idea, but it turns out that the barcode font is kinda like Windings. Each number is transformed into a thin bar just like Windings turns letters into crazy graphical images. But even before we could put those barcodes on our bags, we had to purchase the actual number allotments from a national barcode organizer and purveyor.

I had no idea barcoding was so complex and interconnected, between all different stores and a national database. But obviously, it makes sense. How else could it possibly work? So much of the world is like that. Apparently complex and intricate but then suddenly totally obvious when you look at it from the correct perspective. Take coffee beans themselves. Until you see a roaster in action the fact of the roasted bean is somewhat difficult to envision. What it looked like before roasting. The color of the fruit and the shape of the tree it is grown on.

After all, by the time you buy the coffee off the shelf in a supermarket it sits cold and brown within air-tight, decorated packaging. But to achieve that deep chocolate brown or bright and oily sultry sheen, those seeds-of-the-coffee-fruit must be toasted perfectly. Sometime stop by and buy a bag that's still warm from the roaster.

Chris and Missy got to see the life of a bean from start to finish. That's a rare treat. I step in when the beans are already dried, bagged, shipped and sitting on the shelves in our shop. That's when I load them into the roaster and cook them up for griding. Chris & Missy saw the very trees these amazing seeds came from. These pictures are from that trip.

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