Introduction to Javita MLM Compensation Plan
I like coffee as much as the next guy, but I like origin stories even more. There are several legends about the origin of coffee as a beverage, each one more interesting than the last.
First of all, the word for “coffee” in almost every language, including English, is borrowed from the Arabic word “qahwa”. Those words don’t look much alike, but the “f” in coffee comes from the fact that some of the languages on the road from Arabic to English pronounced the “w” as a “v”, and then others pronounced the “v” as an “f”. Humans have only been drinking coffee since about the 1400s, but its name is much older. (If you have been following my stories about rock bands that were making music for a long time before they got their names, this is the opposite.) In ancient Arabia, qahwa a dark-colored wine known for its robustness; it could keep you full like a whole meal. Some people think that the beverage now enjoyed by cops in donut shops and grumpy waitresses in diners was named after the ancient Arabian meal replacement wine because of their similar appearance.
The drink made of roasted coffee beans became a runaway success in Yemen in the 1400s, then spreading to the rest of the Middle East and then to Europe and the Americas. Coffeehouses sprouted up as more wholesome alternatives to taverns; coffee let you enjoy the companionship of your drinking buddies, but the conversation stayed sharp throughout the night, instead of inevitably slurring its way to fisticuffs and worse. Some say that modern democracy was born in the coffeehouse.
How the coffee beverage came to exist in Yemen is a matter of speculation. The coffee plant is native to eastern Ethiopia, which is right across the Red Sea from Yemen. The plant produces reddish berries, but in ancient times they were not considered fit for human consumption, because they have a very bitter taste, so for as long as anyone could remember, no human being had chosen to eat coffee berries. There are several theories about who started the coffee craze that has made everyone from Starbucks executives to multilevel marketing (MLM) hopefuls see dollar signs, with the latter often chasing the money in vain.
In the 17tth century, a Maronite Christian scholar from Lebanon, Antoine Faustus Nairon, wrote that an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi was the first person to appreciate the charm and benefits of coffee. According to Nairon, Kaldi lived in the ninth century, and he was herding his goats near the city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia. Goats will eat just about anything, and in the 9th century, there were no tin cans with tasty adhesive on the paper labels, so the goats’ adventuresome taste buds led them to the red berries of the coffee plant. To Kaldi’s surprise, the berries had a strange effect on the goats; it filled them with energy. The goats leaped and cavorted through the night. Kaldi decided that his peppy goats must be onto something, so he tried some of the berries himself. They tasted quite bitter, but they kept him wide awake, and he saw fit to bring some of the berries to a nearby monastery and show his discovery to the monks. The monk who answered the door was less than impressed by Kaldi’s berries and his gung-ho goats. In disgust, he threw the berries into the fire, whereupon they emitted a pleasant scent. Nairon does not specify this next part of the story, but I can only assume that Kaldi gathered up the roasted berries and made a beverage out of them and discovered that it tasted much better.
That is one version of the story. Another attributes the origin of the modern coffee beverage to the 13th century Muslim mystic Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili. Abu al-Hasan, the founder and namesake of the Shadhiliya Sufi brotherhood (which still exists), was born in Tangier in Morocco. First as a student and then as a scholar, he traveled all across North Africa and founded many mosques, before settling in southern Egypt. According to legend, when Abu al-Hasan was traveling in Ethiopia, he noticed that the birds that ate of the red berries of a certain plant would fly and sing with greater alacrity than the other birds, so he tried the berries himself. He brought the coffee beverage back with him to Egypt, where it became closely associated with the Shadhiliya brotherhood, as it helped the Sufis stay alert all night for their all-night religious ceremonies.
Yet another version of the story says that Sheikh Omar, a disciple of Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, had settled in Yemen, but had been sent to Ethiopia, where he was wandering in the wilderness. Not having any other food, he tried the red berries of the coffee plant. Finding them unpalatable, he roasted them and made them into a hot drink, which kept him feeling awake and full all through his trip back home to Yemen. After he arrived in Yemen, at the port city of Mocha, the rest is history.
Oh, but it gets better. All the legends on the origin of coffee take place near the city of Harar in Ethiopia. I had never heard of it, so I clicked on its Wikipedia article, and I discovered that its status as the birthplace of coffee is not the only reason to visit Harar. Ever since the 1960s, there have been some professional hyena feeders who feed meat to spotted hyenas in the town square at night; it has become a tourist attraction. People say that the people of Harar began feeding people food to hyenas to deter the hyenas from eating the livestock, and it has worked well. Look at the Wikipedia page about Harar, and when you see the picture of the hyena feeding show, you will share my enthusiasm for a road trip to Harar. I know that Ginger Baker once drove across the Sahara from Algiers, Algeria to Lagos, Nigeria, but I want to make my road trip across Africa in another direction, from west to east, from the friendly crocodiles of Burkina Faso to the hungry, hungry hyenas of Harar.
But not right now, not until after I finish my current quest. I am on a mission to review as many MLM companies as I can, and tonight, you have arrived just in time for my Javita review.
Javita: The Company and Its Products
Especially in comparison to some of the other adventures coffee has had throughout its history, being the flagship product of multilevel marketing (MLM) companies like Javita is a rather boring chapter in the history of coffee. It almost seems like an insult to noble Joe for it to go from being the drink of Sufis and revolutionaries to being a cheap ploy to get your downline sales team to go out and earn some commissions for you. (By “cheap”, I mean cheap to manufacture. The charges on your credit card for autoship of MLM merchandise quickly add up to anything but cheap.) Javita’s sales pitch is that its coffee drinks contain three ingredients that help with weight loss, starting with the stuff that put Kaldi’s goats in the mood to dance all night and rounded out by Yerba mate (a holly-like South America plant used to make the hot beverage called mate), and Garcinia cambogia. I had never heard of G. cambogia, so I looked it up and discovered that it is a fruit that looks like a small, yellowish green pumpkin that grows in Southeast Asia. Oh, and its scientific name has since been changed to G. gummi-gutta.
If you have been following Notebook Crazy, or even just the MLM industry in general, you will have noticed that MLM nutraceutical ingredients read like a Miss Universe pageant of superfoods. There are the stunning pomegranates of Persia and the gorgeous Goji berries of the far reaches of Chinese Mongolia. A distant runner up is the OK looking Ganodermafungus of the hemlock forests of China. G. gummi-gutta is an ingredient in many Thai and South Indian dishes, both of which are cuisines I enjoy very much (I have actually only tasted these foods as they are served in the Midwest, but if they are anything like the original, then I have a very high opinion of them), so it probably tasted pretty good, but if this is purely a beauty contest, it is nothing special. It looks like someone made a mistake at the Autumn Mix factory and put the syrup for the yellow part of the candy corn into the pumpkin mold. Now, I love Autumn Mix, and I would not utter a peep of complaint if a small, yellow pumpkin showed up in mine, but if I had to crown the world’s most beautiful superfood, I can think of much prettier ones. Sorry, Garcinia gummi-gutta.
Strictly speaking, not all Javita products are coffee. They are weight loss beverage mixes of varying types. Some are tea. Some are cocoa. One is an herbal cleanse. These have an even greater variety of ingredients that are contenders in the superfood beauty contest.
All this hype about weight loss. All this arguing about who is the most beautiful. Guess where Javita is headquartered? That’s right. Boca Raton, Florida, right in the heart of MLM Valhalla.
So, do Javita products help you lose weight? A little bit, but not better than the coffee at Dunkin Donuts or 7 Eleven. Caffeine, being a stimulant, has a mild diuretic and appetite suppressant effect. Javita products might give you the energy to dance all night like Kaldi’s goats, and all that exercise might help you lose weight, but not any more than the coffee you can get for a buck at McDonald’s or, if you’re lucky, free from the coffee machine at work.
The Javita Compensation Plan
Other Javita reviewers who have written about the Javita business opportunity have noticed a major red flag in the Javita compensation plan. The Javita compensation plan devotes a lot more ink to how you can earn money from recruiting other sellers than to how you can earn commissions and bonuses from the sale of products. Depending on which kind of membership you buy, it can cost $99, $499, or $999 to join Javita, and those prices include your first year’s membership fees. You can get a bonus for signing up three customers on autoship during your first month. Some bonuses, including the luxury car bonus and the bonus pool, are only available to the people who buy the more expensive memberships. The membership levels are Consultant, Supervisor, Manager, Director, Diamond, Blue Diamond, Royal Blue Diamond, Black Diamond, Royal Black Diamond, and Black Diamond.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- I hate nutraceuticals as much as the next guy, but it’s hard to stay mad at coffee.
- Someone somewhere probably has a placebo receptor somewhere in their intestines that will respond to Javita products. If you can find that person, he or she might by some Javita products on autoship from you.
- Javita reviewers are almost unanimous in their view that Javita products do not taste very good, and it is cheap and convenient to find coffee that costs better.
- People who want to buy coffee on autoship already have a regular shipment of Keurig K-Cups coming to their house. They do not need Javita products or fungus coffee or any of the other MLM merchandise you have been trying to sell them ever since the recession hit.
I have reviewed so many ML nutraceutical products by now that it is hard to get a reaction of disgust from me, and even harder to get a recommendation. Honestly, Javita does not really stand out from the crowd of MLM companies. If I feel anything about Javita, it is disappointment. Reading about Javita in the context of the illustrious history of coffee is like listening to Genesis’ Calling All Stations after listening to Selling England by the Pound, or listening to Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason after Dark Side of the Moon.
Does coffee have another origin story that I left out? Schedule a call with me so you can fill me in on the details, and I can fill you in on how to make your home business profitable.