Co-operative ventures like the one in Brazil's Chapada Diamantina are attempting to enter the European coffee market while still maintaining their biodynamic principles, testing the possibilities of direct marketing by partnering with equally small European based roasters and distributors. The elements of the project are very simple: to provide a additional source of income for the farmers, who were struggling to survive, and to make biodynamic coffee farming viable on a limited scale.
In London, the Monmouth Café near Covent Garden has been making direct links with independent coffee farmers and roasting their own specialty coffees for several decades. Sometimes it's been small, regional roasteries set up by energetic young coffee enthusiasts, like micro-breweries in the real ale movement, that have become distributors to local independents and have provided the link between grower and consumer. Similar examples exist in Berlin, Tokyo, Melbourne, Prague and many other cities throughout the coffee drinking nations. These are the coffee idealists trying to carve out a sensible niche in the helter-skelter madness of the mainstream coffee world.
The Internet has also become a major factor in educating and enticing consumers, expanding their interest in different coffee varieties and enabling small producers to distribute directly to customers through the World Wide Web.
The café space is a creative and inventive moment in time that empowers communal interchange. Coffee, historically, has been the perfect drink that allowed Sufis to commune with God, traders to commune with Mammon and artists to commune with their muses. The forms and nature of the drink and the place where it's consumed have been, and always will be, as fluid as coffee itself. But the beauty and wonder of coffee will continue to arouse the poet, philosopher, inventor and mystic who find the brew a means of entry into a hidden world of the mind – and the café, in all its wonderfully multitudinous constructs, will continue to form the milieu in which to share the magical discoveries inspired by the Black Apollo.