A Circle of Craftsmen

June 22, 2021

A Circle of Craftsmen

"But the work they do holds this world together. When they do their work it is the same as offering prayer." Ecclesiastes 38:34



What does it mean to be a craftsman?

What are you making? What are you creating? What are you crafting?  


Through all our work at Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, we’re dedicated to meeting a high level of craftsmanship:


With every pursuit, we embody the mindset of a craftsman. Our team isn't afraid to venture into learning a new skill, working with a new community, or refining our process. We never relent in honing our craft or growing relationships with people.


This week, my friend and coworker, Austin, who manages our coffee shop in West Nashville, asked how I was enjoying a remote working vacation in New England. I told him I’m trying to lean into being in thenow but what’snext tends to distract me. Worrying or even dreaming about what’s next takes my focus away from truly creating or crafting in the now.  


Craftsmanship, actually making or doing somethingnow, is the fabric that holds this world together, as Syrach says in Ecclesiasticus. Syrach closely observed the world around him, and in that world (as in ours), makers, creators, and dreamers presented their crafts to be enjoyed by the rest of the world. He observed that craftsmen’s work holds this world together and is even a prayer of sorts. All good work can be seen as an offering, both to those around us and our Creator. 


Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee’s Circle of Craftsmen

In our community of craftsmen, craftsmanship, and collaboration go hand in hand, to bring you your morning cup of coffee.  



There is Nshimiyumuremyi Francois who tends delicate coffee seedlings in Rwanda. Then there is Nduhura Gerard who grows the seedlings into lush coffee trees on his ancestral land. He has 100 trees that she cares for, mulching, pruning, and, after three years of growth, finally picking the ripe red coffee cherries. He’s incredibly in tune with the trees’ growth cycles since picking the cherries too soon makes for a less than optimal taste in your cup. Each tree produces just one pound of coffee, which he then carries to the washing station where Basabakwinshi Alexis pays him for her labor. 


The fresh coffee cherries are de-pulped, washed, fermented, and dried. When the beans are finished being processed, they’re taken by truck to Kigali where they’re sorted. 


From there, the beans are shipped to Roswell, Georgia where our expert roaster, Alex, roasts the coffee to perfection before Steven packs the finished product and sends them to our cafes (or right to your door!). Once at a cafe, our team of baristas carefully grind 12 grams of beans to craft the artisanal beverage that ends up in your hands to savor. (Check out how to brew excellent coffee at home with our helpful home brewing gear and brew guides.)  


This community of craftsmen works so you and I can experience our morning cup of coffee that helps get us going and stimulates our brains to then craft our own beauty. Interested to see more of how our farmers craft seedlings into the perfect cup? Take a look here. 


How to Craft Your Own Beauty 

Of course, craftsmanship doesn’t only apply to coffee. Anything we create can rise to a level of high craftsmanship if we want it to and if we keep the following in mind: 


  1. It takes time—a lot of time—to practice your craft.
  2. It takes consistency and dedication to continually grow or improve. It helps if you create a routine, rhythm, or ritual that allows you to honor your craft and practice regularly.
  3. It doesn’t have to have commercial value. Perhaps your craft is meant for a community and has a monetary value that helps hold this world’s economic system together as Syrach suggests. But also give yourself time to craft not for financial success but for the sheer fun of it. There’s nothing less valuable in being an amateur; someone that simply loves what they do.  

It’s been said that the decline of the arts happened when they were linked to monetary gains.  Artists used to have wealthy sponsors or benefactors who would provide financially so they could simply create and do their thing.  


Be your own benefactor, give yourself time to craft.  


Also, when you do find your rhythm or give yourself the luxury to playfully create, remember that a well-crafted cup of coffee will always help you Do Good. Find your new favorite blend here


Komera (Be Strong, Have Courage),

Jonathan


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