All that was 2015

People are always asking us how much coffee we drink per day: "Workin' here, you guys must slurp it right up!" Most people, it seems, assume we slug enough coffee each day to power a fleet of commercial jets. 

The real answer is: much less than you'd think. A cup or two a day, with maybe an espresso thrown in there for good measure. 

As for how much coffee we drink in a year? Well, fire up the jet engines, because we're on a direct flight to Coffee Town. We drink a lot of coffee per year. A couple twelve-ounce cups a day, multiplied by 365, and that's...well, we're baristas, not mathistas. 

The point is, we've drunk a lot of great coffee in the last year, and we hope you have too. Here are some other things we've done, drunk, danced upon, built, learned, and loved in the last 365 days:

We sojourned to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador (twice!). We are so thankful to have relationships with incredible coffee farmers around the globe, and we eagerly drop in on them as often as they'll have us. In the past year, we have invited a few of our longest-running employees to join us on our trips to the source of things. We particularly loved Mark's story of coffee that led him to a cupping table in El Salvador.

We got a major facelift. You know how, in high school, some kids would come back from summer break and look totally different? They got their braces off, they changed their hair, they rocked new jeans, and they grew five inches? We kind of did that. A team of talented designers and craftsman beautifully revamped our original space, giving us more seating, service flow, and #sexyCREMA Instagram hashtags. We love our new look, but, just so you know, we're still that same awkward kid we were before we got our braces taken off.

We picked the brains of some of our absolute faves in the biz. One of the things we love most about this community is learning from our diverse bunch of smart and creative customers. We featured a few of these conversations on the blog this year: from Shawn Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate fame to the artistic brilliance of Susan Sherrick, and from the hospitable wisdom of Coffee Supreme's Al Keating to the culinary passion of Prima's Sal Avila, we have heard from the best. 

We learned stuff (and taught stuff too)! Early last year, head roaster Winston and co-owner (and chief of dishwashing, says her business card) Rachel became certified Q-Graders, stamping them with the ability to taste, score, and more effectively buy green coffee. Also, we continued our bi-annual Coffee Classes, which routinely packed eager coffee-learnin' beavers into our roasting room and training lab. 

Oh! And we went to college, too. In May, we sponsored Coffee and Inequality at Vanderbilt University, a night of conversation hosted by the college's Institute for Coffee Studies. Experts from the university spoke about the true value of buying coffee from small growers, and the increasing number of challenges those small farmers face. We recapped the evening here.

We opted outside! Following the adventurous lead of REI's inspiring #OptOutside campaign, we closed our mothership store on Black Friday, and paid our employees to venture into the great outdoors. It was awesome.

We ate a dope meal. Well, we ate several dope meals. With the booming new Nashville restaurant explosion happening around us (also our old faves: Arnold's, we will never forsake you), we have grubbed on so much great food. But one meal in particular was extra special. In October, Edwin Martinez (of Onyx Coffee) and Josh Habiger (of, like, everywhere, but Strategic Hospitality, specifically) tagteamed a coffee-and-dinner-and-drinks evening and Josh's home. Edwin and Josh, what do y'all say we do one again?

We went cow-trippin'! This is a bit different from cow tippin', which is a thing that happens in the South and not a thing we advocate doing to our happy and milk-providing cows! We did visit the Groves Family Dairy in Orlinda, Tennessee, where Randy Groves and his #squad of healthy cows live. We learned a lot, and met some cows!

We didn't throw things away (again). Just like we did in 2014, CREMA kept 15-20 tons of trash and food waste from being sent to landfills. Thanks to our friends at Compost Nashville and EarthSavers, (and our awesome customers for using the right trash and recycling cans), we're turning those coffee grounds into life-giving soil and helping build a healthier Nashville. 

We freakin' danced. You know the drill by now. At CREMA, we love to dance. People love to take pictures of us dancing. What can we say? Our energy is contagious.

Thank you for energizing us every day. We look forward to drinking up another year's worth of coffee, and another year's worth of your friendship! Enjoy the great Sara Kiesling's snaps from our annual holiday party below!

Photos by Sara Keisling and Know Your Roots Photoboothery .