Walden is a famous book by Henry David Thoreau. It’s almost a precursor to the modern – or post modern – practice of sustainable living. But indirectly it has a lot to say about coffee.
During his hermitage Thoreau grew beans for a living. He reflected often on beans. Here are some prescient quotes – if I were to start a coffee shop today I’d call it Walden.
“I was determined to know beans.”
“Most men I do not meet at all, for they seem not to have time; they are busy about their beans.”
“Why concern ourselves so much about our beans for seed, and not be concerned at all about a new generation of men? We should really be fed and cheered if when we met a man we were sure to see that some of the qualities which I have named, which we all prize more than those other productions, but which are for the most part broadcast and floating in the air, had taken root and grown in him. Here comes such a subtile and ineffable quality, for instance, as truth or justice, though the slightest amount or new variety of it, along the road.”
“What shall I learn of beans or beans of me? I cherish them, I hoe them, early and late I have an eye to them; and this is my day’s work. It is a fine broad leaf to look on.”
“I was much slower, and became much more intimate with my beans than usual. But labor of the hands, even when pursued to the verge of drudgery, is perhaps never the worst form of idleness. It has a constant and imperishable moral, and to the scholar it yields a classic result.”