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Media rant #1 - Macleans gets it wrong · 11.10.07 by colin newell

Macleans gets it wrong - againI subscribe to Macleans magazine in Canada – more out of patriotic duty than anything else.

And in the last year or so, Macleans appears to have descended from the ranks of respectable magazine to rag status — at least in my eyes.

I did an interview a couple of weeks ago for Macleans – on the topic of Panama La Hacienda Esmeralda
For me, this is a largely good news story; North American market discovers a great coffee and is willing to pay handsomely for it — and I mean Handsomely! Result: Children get fed, hospital gets built, doctor comes to town, school is full… cue the lights.

The coffee itself is wonderful – often described as more tea-like than coffee like. It has sold via internet auction on a program called The Cup of Excellence. So I talked and talked about it to the Macleans writer pointing out the marvelous benefits to the community that grows this wonderful coffee.

One of my more salient points was how the coffee community, in Canada generally, is a familial like organization that breeds trust as opposed to deception – the writer asking me: “Is there any deception going on with this wonderfully expensive coffee?”

Huh? What? Deception? Heck no. It is a positive message with a positive outcome sister!
The community in Panama now has a medical clinic, a school and hope for the future.

Trust Macleans magazine to strip all this away and cheapen it — making it all about rich Canadians buying expensive coffee —read, us! A few quotes:


Toronto residents have long been accustomed to emptying their wallets for a gourmet meal or fine glass of wine. But is Canada’s most expensive city ready for the $15 cup of coffee? Matthew Lee thinks so. Lee, 29, recently opened Manic Coffee, a cafĂ© on the bustling outskirts of Toronto’s Little Italy. To celebrate, on Oct. 19 he’ll begin offering up a limited amount of Esmeralda Special — a heady Panamanian brew that’s brought the coffee-drinking world to its knees.

Within the coffee community, Esmeralda backlash has begun. “It is out of control, in my opinion,” says Mark Prince of coffeegeek.com.
He suspects some retailers have been “less than crystal” about whether their coffee is auction-lot or not
Prince himself bought three half-pound bags he believed to be auction-lot Esmeralda, only to find he’d been duped. The Story


Huh? This is about us now is it?
No. It is about the farmers and their families… their children – or it should be.
Yes. I know what you are thinking. This is sour-grapes on my part from not being included in this piece.

Maybe in part. The Panama La Hacienda Esmerelda is a good news message and Macleans has missed the point entirely and made it laugh worthy.

Nice work?
Not.

  1. Excellent rant! It is too bad that the media feels they need to make it all about people paying $15 for a cup of ‘maybe’ Esmeralda coffee.

    On the bright side, regardless of how the media spins it, the school and medical clinic still got built.


    Wade Badenhorst    Oct 28, 12:50 pm    #

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