I think this is one of the most important emotions in coffee. (Go with me here….)
I try (as we all do at work) to drink as much coffee from other roasters as possible, and a good day is a day that I’m jealous. Jealous of how good a certain roast is, or how good a lot of greens are, or how beautiful a bag is, or jealous about a myriad of other things.
I don’t believe for a second that we have the best of everything, nor are the best at everything – but that’s the goal. I’d say that if you aren’t regularly jealous of another company for even the smallest detail then you’re missing out on some great inspiration. If you say you can’t find it, then you aren’t really looking.
I’m not advocating some sort of mean spirited competitive thing between companies, quite the opposite. There is so much diversity in coffee that it would be a shame not to enjoy it. The Kiandu from Ritual is absolutely delicious, I’m jealous they got that lot but I don’t think that is mutually exclusive to loving the coffees from Kenya we have right now.
The best thing about the “Taste of” events we used to do – where we’d pick five roasters from a certain country, get their coffee in and pull shots of it for interested people – was that we’d get to taste some incredible blends, totally different to what we were doing or trying to achieve. The best ones, regardless of their style, always made me think “Damn, I wish we’d done that!”, if only for a minute. (I tried to remember to actually just enjoy the coffee too) I hope I never lose that motivation. I also think jealousy can breed innovation, but that is a whole other post….