Yes it is suppose to say that life is like a box of chocolates, but is it really? Tom Hanks in all of his Forrest Gump wisdom didn’t understand that life is not like a box of chocolates at all. It isn’t sweet and juicy or milky and soft.I guess maybe sometimes it is, but in my experience life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. No I prefer to think of life like a bag of coffee beans.

Think about it. It makes perfect sense. If we look at the journey of a burlap bag of green coffee beans we get the perfect metaphor for life and what we hope to get out of it.

The green bean coffee is delivered to its first destination. The beans are put through a sort-of-sifter machine called a destoner to separate the good green coffee beans from any foreign material that could damage the roaster or get mixed in a bag of coffee that will be given to a customer. Some of the foreign objects could be anything from pebbles and rocks to nails and ammunition shells. Seriously!

Then they are poured into the roaster and here is where ‘life’ really hits them. It is hot, I mean really hot! They are tossed all of the place, back and forth, up and down, round and round. The temperature rises and rises until there is that first crack. Carbon dioxide begins escaping the bean. More and more beans begin to crack. Their color darkens from green to light tan to light brown to brown, sometimes even darker. The chaff is blown and sucked up and out. As the cracking subsides, the roasting subsides and then they are dumped out the drum to cool off. Such a fragrant smell. So appealing that the smell of freshly roasted coffee has been polled as one of the most satisfying smells.

But the ‘torture’ isn’t over for the beans. From roaster to grinder. The bean then gets crushed, pulverized into tiny little grounds. Depending on the brew process the beans could get ground almost into a fine powder. Once the grind size is set, the beans fall through the grinder into the portafilter or basket they are placed in a brewing system; espresso, batch brew, pour over, etc. Immersion begins with water at upwards of 200 degrees to draw out the flavor of what was formerly a bean. The result is a delicious cup of coffee that is drank by human beings all across the world every single day.

Sounds like a transformative process doesn’t it. And it is. The coffee bean literally goes on a journey from seed to cup. Ultimately in its green bean form there isn’t a whole lot of use for them. But when they go through this intense process the end result is as some people say, and I quote, “Life changing!”

Doesn’t it sound like life? Someone reading this post has experienced high heat. Some of you have been roasted much longer than you desired to be. I know myself there has been some tumbling, flipping, tossing around. There has been crushing and hot water. But there is one key element that we all need to remember: you never roast one bean at a time. Those beans are in it together. You are not alone either. You are not on an island. Others have been through it as well.

We are better together. When we do life together we accomplish more, we go farther, and we have each other there in case we need help getting up. If there is anything to remember from this always remember you never roast one bean at a time.