Thursday 7 July 2011

Conversations About Coffee

     "The stain on my notebook remains all that's left..."

    On the hard, I am a bit of a coffee snob. I like good coffee.  Not expensive coffee, not dramatic coffee, not bells and whistles and froth coffee, good coffee.

     Real coffee.
     True coffee.

     How do you know if you are drinking real, true coffee?

     1.  It is served by a woman of indeterminate age dressed in a polyester uniform with a plastic nametag, not a "barista" with multiple piercings and desperate facial hair.  If I wanted to be served by sullen teenagers who want to be someplace else, I would stay home on Father's Day.

    2.  Getting a cup of caffeine in hand doesn't require answering several questions relating to size, strength, blend, "flavour shots", "foam."  I am not real sociable before my first download of caffeine. Interrogation does not improve my disposition.

     3.  Real true coffee has one flavour:  coffee.  If you have to add caramel and milk and ice and chocolate it is no longer coffee, it is now a milkshake.

    4.  It costs less than $1.60.  For a large.

    5.  A large is, well, large.  Not vente.  Not grande.  Large.

    6.  When it is "to go", you get it in a paper cup with a sensible lid.  When it is "for here", they trust you enough to give you a real, damn near indestructible, weapon-grade, china mug.

    7.  It isn't an "experience."  It is a cup of coffee.

    8.  If you are making it at home,  real true coffee comes in a bag or a can, requires a filter (clean underwear will do, in a pinch) and makes a full pot of 12 cups, not in a little creamer-sized single serving cup.  No real, true coffee drinker drinks that little coffee.

    9.  Real, true coffee does not require a french press, a $400 coffee maker, a foamer, a whisk, a gold mesh filter, filtered water and precise temperature.  It requires caffeine and hot water. Now.  That's it.

    Others may disagree.  They're wrong.  Nice people, mostly, generally pretty intelligent, but wrong.

    Real, true coffee is like pizza, or sex:  When it is good, it is great.  When it is bad...'s still pretty good.

    On the boat, I cheat.  We cannot afford to lose valuable galley space to filters and a coffee pot, so I serve Nescafe instant coffee.  In a plastic mug.  Which never leaves the boat. Which is also used for Dark n Stormies and other rum -fueled concoctions. Which is never washed, only rinsed.

    I'm okay with that.  A cup of cheap instant coffee onboard always tastes a hell of a lot better than a cup of anything ingested at work.

  Go on, tell me I'm wrong.

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