duck-rabbit coffee is a craft coffee roastery in Cleveland, Ohio.

What's with our name?


Above is a photograph of street art (artist unknown) depicting Ludwig Wittgenstein with a duck-rabbit on both shoulders. Notice that the duck-rabbits can been seen either as rabbits facing Wittgenstein, or as ducks facing away from him.  Wittgenstein, a 20th Century philosopher, draws his readers' attention to a duck-rabbit in his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations, and remarks "[t]he picture might have been shown me, without my ever seeing in it anything but a rabbit."  What Wittgenstein is calling our attention to is that how we see the world is dependent on the context(s) which we view it under and the background of our experiences which we view it from. 

Let's take-up a couple thought experiments to help flush-out Wittgenstein's insights.

A thought experiment concerning background: Imagine a people completely ignorant of rabbits, but who are quite familiar with ducks. Imagine our duck-rabbit image being shown to these people.  Due to their ignorance of rabbits, they would only be able to see a duck where we can see both a duck and a rabbit.  Now imagine rabbits being introduced to these people, and once familiarized with rabbits being shown our duck-rabbit image again.  Presumably they'd now also be able to see a rabbit where before they could only see a duck.

A thought experiment concerning context: Imagine yourself -someone familiar with both ducks and rabbits- in a situation where you are expecting to see a rabbit, like, for instance, you are reading a story about rabbits and the duck-rabbit image is offered as a part of a scene depicting rabbits. It is reasonable to think that you would accept the image as a rabbit since it is embedded in a context of rabbits.

What does that have to do with coffee?

We as a company try to help people see coffee as an object of refined taste as opposed to a commodity by providing background and context we think is useful in facilitating such a shift in perspective and experience.