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You’d think an iced coffee would be a simple order. Predictable, straight forward, no real drama involved. But no. At work the other day the hallway chatter was about the local co-op. They changed their iced coffee from a simple gallon of brewed coffee kept in the refrigerator to a new product that is “cold brewed” for 16 hours. Of course, a new price reflects the more complex process. A coworker was surprised at the cash register when he paid $2.25 for what once costs $1.50.

“Was it better?” I asked. “Well, yes, I could taste a difference, but I was happy with the other option.” Because we go there daily, we asked the barista if the old version was still available. Turns out, they still make it for their employees (who want to keep the cost-saving option). So now, we are going covert and asking for the stash in the back.

The conversation turned to “what happened to good enough?” They’ve forced us to have premium or nothing, one said. Apparently, there was a taste-testing event at the co-op, presumably set up by the manufacturer of the new cold-press machine to show that customers prefer the more complicated process. Somebody apparently made the compelling case and the store raised their price to cover the machinery and process.

“I was content with what they had. I don’t need a 16-hour cold-pressed process,” was the observation. Seems to me, the coffee scenario represents much of life. We have what we need, what works, what is good enough. But then a newer, fancier product comes along with compelling arguments about why we can’t live without it. From small purchases to large, we are constantly encouraged to trade up instead of keeping what’s good enough. As my husband and I continue to figure out how to downsize and simplify in order to reduce stress and increase happiness, the art of good enough is key.

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