Feb 28 • 4M

BONUS: Can Coffee-Buying Be Randomized?

Some believe that lotteries and random draws are a tool for improving equity. Could those techniques work in coffee?

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Appears in this episode

Ashley Rodriguez
Episode details

Hello! Today, I’ve got a little bonus episode for paying subscribers (thank you so much for supporting Boss Barista!).

In last week’s podcast episode with academic and author Ted Fischer—if you haven’t yet listened to our conversation, you can do so here—I aired some provocative questions about the future of coffee. For instance: For all that coffee’s third wave has pushed the industry forward, was it also a step backwards in terms of actually building equity?

In this bonus clip, I ask Ted another: Instead of roasters and buyers using quality scores to buy coffee, what if we did it by lottery instead? (This is also a question I wrote about in a piece for Standart Magazine—I’ll be republishing that later this week, so look out for it.) For now, listen to what Ted thinks about this idea. Enjoy!

Ashley: Yeah, agree. There's a lot of room for innovation, I think, and there's a lot of really creative ways that we can start thinking about coffee.

I'm gonna take an idea that I had from last year. I wrote an article about this for Standart, and it was not a fully formed idea and I still am struggling with it, but I'm wondering how you would interpret it.

I had this idea that there could be more of a lottery aspect to coffee, like a lot more randomness. Yeah—take that somewhere, maybe.

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