Feb. 20, 2018
While much is written about coffee sourcing trips to origin, little is written about pants. The journey to a coffee producing country can be long, and likely you will need pants. Once there, pants will also be useful, not just for modesty, but also protection from small shrubs, bushes if you prefer, and the taller grasses. They will also protect from some biting insects, aside from ants. Watch out for ants while sourcing coffee!
On the plane, bus or train, you are going to want style and comfort. Some of the new blended stretch fabrics are just the right ticket. They are wrinkle resistant and expand on demand ...they will “give” as you “take.” This is especially useful if you suffer bloat while airborne.
For men (and sadly I can only speak to traditional men’s styles or else this would be all about Lululemon), the classic stretch pant might be the Wrangler polyester “jean.” I put “jean” in parenthesis there, because it is not denim. But faux denim is just the ticket for extreme stretch ability. I suspect these originated in the cowboy disco era to “move with the groove.” Wrangler Poly Jean.
Another viable option comes with the Dickies label. You could go with the less flexible work pant or for the Triblend or 50/50 offerings. I find their brown pant to be most appropriate for hiding stains while journeying in coffee areas. And amazingly the color is a perfect match for Agtron 40 degree of roast!
Pant length also needs to be considered by any coffee buyer. A highwater length might be seen as declasse in Tolima, but is practically de rigeur in Jimma. But when in doubt, you usually can make the right decision by following the old saying: "business up top, party down below.”
In terms of pleats or no pleats, there is little that can be added to the debate that hasn’t already been said. But we would point out that pleats can harbor germs and small pests.
“Pants can say a lot about the man”, as a man once said. And your pants might scream out the wrong message to your coffee supply chain origin relationship partners. Short pants = no! You don’t want that! You need to be taken seriously even though you want to be “down with the people” but you aren’t.
Nor do you want to be pigeonholed as an elitist who just popped in to snap a few pictures and have some authentic experiences before returning to the hotel. No fancy slacks at the finca! (And by the way you will need something that works at the hotel as well as the farm. Yes, we ask so much of our pants!).
In conclusion, there maybe much to say about pants but no easy one-size-fits-all answers. But let’s get woke to pants, raise awareness, and create a dialogue so we can all feel a sense of agency ... about pants! ?
(PS: For UK coffee buyers, we understand the linguistic and cultural differences that surround the word "pants." We are speaking of trousers here. You should always wear underpants when buying coffee.)
-Thompson, with kind input from Cory Bush