The Mount Sinabung volcano in Sumatra has erupted over 30 times in the last few months leading to mass evacuations and destruction in the vicinity, including many coffee farms. We shared this picture on our twitter feed and Facebook page.
This is a rather striking image. It's much different than the majority of images of coffee growing regions that we commonly see, images that are rich in color and vibrant with life and growth and activity. This image is grey and devastating. I have to say that I was rather struck by a number of the comments (most deleted now) that were made on our posts that seemed to be rather glib. I don't think the folks who made the comments truly meant any ill will, but it really hit me how they were able to be so detached from the reality of the image and what it represented. I didn't see any similar comments with recent volcanic eruptions in Central America, and I know when our friend's at Safehouse Coffee in Griffin, GA shop burned down 2 years ago there was a massive outpouring of support and compassion for their loss.
What made this different? Is it because coffees from Sumatra are out of favor with current roasting trends? Is it because the image itself almost seems otherworldly and it's easy to detach? Are the comments nervous comments? I don't know. I just know that it's all rather breathtaking.