I had this idea in my head for this blog post based on a handful of conversations I’ve had lately. This could easily be a research paper, but doing so would have sanitized the major points I want to make. At the end of the day, this conversation is about the community—our community.

Coffee…is political. Regardless of how you look at it, politics shape how coffee is grown, shipped, roasted, sold, and consumed around the world. I’m not talking about Facebook politics—I’m talking about real politics at the federal, state, and local levels.

I recently posted a video and shared a few stories to encourage Hoosiers to get out and vote during Indiana’s primary election on May 3 while also voicing my support for my good friend, Andrea Hunley, who was running for the new Senate District 46. A handful of folks I don’t know felt the need to DM me to ‘shut up and dribble,’ or in my case, ‘shut up and just talk about coffee.’

The Indianapolis Coffee Guide exists to lift up the coffee community in Indianapolis. I care about coffee, but what I really care about is the community—the bigger picture of all of these things.

Here’s the thing: local coffee does not exist without community. And the coffee community is not just the workforce behind the counters—it’s the people, the places, the craft, the conversations, the stories, the struggles, the highs and lows, and sometimes the politics. There is no such thing as ‘just coffee.’

Speaking of the community, I shouldn’t have to spell this out, but local politics shape so much of how we experience our everyday lives. Local politics shape our schools, our roads, our buildings, our taxes, our community programs, our air and water quality, our grocery stores, our bike lanes, our…everything! They also shape all of these things for every single business—small and large—in our communities. Local politics never stop.

You can not separate local politics from our community. You can not separate our community from our coffee. You can not separate our coffee from our local politics.

In lifting up our local coffee community, it will always be important to talk about local politics, especially in a state like Indiana when less than 11% of registered voters in Marion County actually voted in this primary election.

So, no: I’m not going to ‘just post coffee.’

I’m not sorry if uncomfortable conversations challenge your privileges that make you think you can separate politics from coffee. You literally can not.

The Indianapolis Coffee Guide will always exist to support every part of the local coffee community. If you want to talk further about this or any specific topic discussed here, my DMs are always open.