Coffee and music go together. Don’t they?

Coffee, headphones and a music player.

Many countries in the coffee-growing regions of the world also have rich musical cultures.

Jamaica, South and Central America, East Africa, and so on.


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The thing is...I don’t think I have ever walked into a coffee shop where they were playing music from coffee-growing countries.

My wife and I have a favorite coffee shop we go to most weekends. They have live music there. But the favored musical genre seems to be folk.

And when Starbucks began selling CDs in their coffee shops back in 1994, they featured artists like Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and Aretha Franklin. 

Starbucks got out of the CD business, although they still deliver music through Spotify.

But...it’s not music from the countries where their coffees come from.

This puzzles me.

Coffee shops go to great lengths to emphasize the origins of their coffees, as part of their efforts to enrich the whole coffee drinking experience.

On their websites and in their stores they show photos of where their coffees came from. Their founders and roasters fly out to visit coffee farms and attempt to immerse themselves in the lives of coffee growers.

But what about the music of those countries?

We have five senses. We taste coffee, we smell coffee, we touch coffee, we take joy in seeing coffee being made.

There's just one missing sense - hearing.

Why don’t we listen to music from the countries we get our coffee from? Why isn’t sound part of the coffee-loving experience?

I don’t know the answer, but the question interests me.

So far, I have found only one label that curates music collections from coffee-growing regions of the world - Putumayo Presents.

If you’re interested, they have several CDs devoted to music from “the coffee lands”. You can find them on Amazon.

Better still, next time you go to your favorite coffee shop, ask them why they don’t play music from the countries they get their coffees from.



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Live music at one of our favorite coffee shops.Live music at one of our favorite local coffee shops.

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