When it comes to beverages, I gravitate toward libations that take 12 years or so of careful, patient aging in wooden barrels. A beverage that takes only a few minutes to brew holds little fascination for a disciple of the grain like me. Having said that, I would find myself remiss as an arbiter of excellent taste if I failed to acknowledge the passion, the tempestuousness, and the perseverance of the coffee aficionado. This is especially true if that java enthusiast is the Senior United States Senator from Texas.
I must admit that that I was feeling pretty self-satisfied, yes, even smug with myself after having played a role in the negotiations that eventually opened Dallas Love Field to longhaul competition. Banishing the Wright Amendment to the trash bin of history through the support of all the interested parties was a pretty sizeable accomplishment, and like we are wont to do at Southwest, we celebrated. At a rally to mark Love Field’s new freedoms, I shared the stage with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was indefatigable in her efforts on Capitol Hill to get the legislation passed in close to record time. It is always an honor and a privilege to be in the Senator’s company, but I admit that I was a little surprised about what happened next (and you can see my surprise below).
After she discussed the import of the day’s gathering and highlighted how very disparate groups came together in the spirit of compromise, she then asked me why our coffee was so horrible. Keep in mind that I never touch the stuff, but I had never heard a disparaging word about our offerings before that point in time. Her question left me feeling like the Emperor with no clothes. Perhaps I was still living in a pre-barista world, where “cups of Joe” were dispensed in diners and coffee shops by waitresses who called you “honey, sugar, or darlin,” not magnum-sized java lattes in coffee salons brewed by trendy baristas. That apparent lack of awareness of the coffee revolution is sad to admit from a social trend-setter like me. (After all, as a teenager, I was in the lead when it came to tail fins, ducktails, and the jitterbug.)
After being taken to task by a United States Senator, I was at a loss for words. As you will notice in the second photo below, I relied on my “plan B” and used my effervescent charm and brilliant sense of humor to deflect the issue. But, thanks to the good Senator, I began to see the world through coffee-colored glasses. Senator Hutchison, it took a while, but I hope you will appreciate the LIFT our new coffee and creamer products will bring you.
For more information on our new LIFT coffee, check out Lindsey's post below and our video.