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Perfect
Brew

Written by admin, 5 years ago, 0 Comments

Do you drink coffee?
1) Yes
2) No

How do you take your coffee?
1) In a cup, maybe with some milk and sugar. It’s a morning thing.

2) Always at my elbow on the desk, or possibly attached to my hand. Surgically.

3) I have to go out for it. It’s not coffee if I haven’t spent twenty minutes on line and given an order that takes another five.

What is coffee?
1) A morning drink for that burst of caffeine that makes dealing with people possible.

2) A required aspect of every single day that dictates the productivity and general success of any given task = from successfully dressing oneself to navigating the dizzying succession of emails from the boss.

3) A fine drink consisting of syrups and milk, to be customized in five hundred ways with a bit of coffee flavor.
It’s The Great Coffee Debate (even if nobody’s debating it in open forum.) There are generally three camps of attitude towards coffee and opinions can get heated on all sides. These camps tend to divide like this:

1) A body drags his or her self to the office, where, sitting in a corner of the kitchen – probably perched on a laminate counter that was laid in the 70s – is the coffee pot. After setting coat and bag away, this is the first stop. The cup is poured and lifted to lips for a taste-test, and microseconds later, amid much grimacing and unhappy noises, the coffee is doctored with milk or sugar. Nonetheless, this is the coffee that will be found at the elbow of every office worker. (If you subscribe to this, you’re probably from Europe and watch a lot of old movies that perpetuate the gag.)

2) In the morning as one is about to head out for work, a start to the day is needed. One may or may not have time for breakfast, but one always has time for coffee. It can be got pretty much anywhere, but simple is best; a faithful 2-cup maker or a French press and properly ground coffee beans, some boiling water, and the coffee is made to the preference of the drinker. (Alternatively, one’s got no time for this make-your-own and doesn’t care about the taste much anyway, and a cup at the bodega on the corner is good enough.)

3) When coffee time comes around, it’s to the store. But not to the bodega at the corner, oh no. Too easy. No, coffee is best when there’s a line – and there’s always a line. Sometimes the line is so bad they send a barista with an electronic pad so they can key in the order, and with the grace of God it will be in production by the time the customer reaches the cash register. The order probably consists of five ingredients and a designation of pumps permissible, in a size of cup that’s less a size and more a description. (If you’re one of these, congratulations! You probably don’t even know what coffee tastes like. Or you don’t like coffee, in which case you can rest easy knowing that you’re not really drinking any.)

Coffee used to be a drink for the senses. There was an acceptable form to coffee – it was a drink that you were supposed to linger over. You had it with a leisurely breakfast, or after dinner with a mint and the rest of the family. After coffee came to Europe in the 1600s (right alongside tea; the whole tea vs. coffee debate is more modern than you’d think), the rise of the coffee house coincided with public gatherings of the intelligentsia, artists, and musicians, helping spark new trends in art and music. (Sebastian Bach not only owned a coffee house for a time, but wrote a contata about the drink – listen to it and feel super cultured.)

Coffee was never the kind of workhorse drink we see today, the one that people chug in greater quantities than water and keep topped up so it doesn’t get cold. So what happened?

As society shifted – prices fluctuated, classes became blurry and everyone was suddenly at work all day rather than in the house or ‘going visiting’ –  there simply became less time for the leisurely breakfast. Originally coffee turned into something that you gulped down for a caffeine shot before you left the house. When people began logging longer hours at the office, there was no time for afternoon tea, and dinner just became a late meal. ‘Coffee and a mint’ so late in the day made it harder to sleep (plus who needs conversation with the family?) and was slowly worked out of the routine. Then, younger employees started working more hours that were anxiety-inducing-enough that they decided at least they could be drinking something decent while they were having their breakdowns.

So coffee evolved again. The cry went up for a drink that would caffeinate and be vaguely pleasant to taste, and companies looked to fill the demand. Or perhaps that was just a direct reaction to the “American coffee” jokes that poured in from Europe. Or maybe it was just the natural extreme ridiculous swing of the coffee-trend pendulum. Whatever it was, coffee became a whole new thing. Everywhere you turned there was a new Starbucks or mom n’ pop shop that wanted to be Starbucks while being ‘cute’ and thus appealing to hipsters. (The amount of flavors you could incorporate into your coffee is fascinating.)

While it’s not nearly so bad as it was for a few years, it’s still pretty bad. The invention of Starbucks has in a large part ruined coffee. We’ve had to learn new sizes that make no sense whatsoever in the context of liquid. The pumps of blank, shots of blah, and so much milk that it doesn’t matter how bad the espresso is make it an ordeal just to get a cup of joe, especially because the syrups and sizes now follow everyone around. It’s painful how many baristas I’ve overheard having to patiently explain to a customer that no, they don’t have a 20oz cup because that’s a stupid size for a non-chain to carry, that no, you can’t have an espresso in a 20oz cup because then it’s not espresso, or no, we don’t carry a Crayola-box-worthy array of taste-compromising syrups.

It’s equally unfortunate when you’re standing in line and overhear the customer in front of you ordering a cappuccino, only to complain about the amount of milk in it. The fact that they don’t even know what they’re ordering anymore only goes to show the depth of coffee ruination we’ve faced in the last decade. On the bright side, now that we can’t possibly go any lower, we can begin to dig ourselves back out and towards normality.

 

It’s The Great Coffee Debate (even if nobody’s debating it in open forum). There are generally three camps of attitude towards coffee and opinions can get heated on all sides. These camps tend to divide like this:

1) A body drags his or her self to the office, where sitting in a corner of the kitchen – probably perched on a laminate counter that was laid in the 70s – is the coffee pot. After setting coat and bag away, this is the first stop. The cup is poured and lifted to lips for a taste-test, and microseconds later, amid much grimacing and unhappy noises, the coffee is doctored with milk or sugar. Nonetheless, this is the coffee that will be found at the elbow of every office worker. (If you subscribe to this, you’re probably from Europe and watch a lot of old movies that perpetuate the gag.)

2) In the morning as one is about to head out for work, a start to the day is needed. One may or may not have time for breakfast, but one always has time for coffee. It can be got pretty much anywhere, but simple is best; a faithful 2-cup maker or a French press and properly ground coffee beans, some boiling water, and the coffee is made to the preference of the drinker. (Alternatively, one’s got no time for this make-your-own and doesn’t care about the taste much anyway and a cup at the bodega on the corner is good enough.)

3) When coffee time comes around, it’s to the store. But not to the bodega at the corner, oh no. Too easy. No, coffee is best when there’s a line – and there’s always a line. Sometimes the line is so bad they send a barista with an electronic pad so they can key in the order, and with the grace of God it will be in production by the time the customer reaches the cash register. The order probably consists of five ingredients and a designation of pumps permissible, in a size of cup that’s less a size and more a description. (If you’re one of these, congratulations! You probably don’t even know what coffee tastes like. Or you don’t like coffee, in which case you can rest easy knowing that you’re not really drinking any.)

Coffee used to be a drink for the senses. There was an acceptable form to coffee – it was a drink that you were supposed to linger over. You had it with a leisurely breakfast, or after dinner with a mint and the rest of the family. After coffee came to Europe in the 1600s (right alongside tea; the whole tea vs. coffee debate is more modern than you’d think), the rise of the coffee house coincided with public gatherings of the intelligentsia, artists, and musicians, helping spark new trends in art and music. (Sebastian Bach not only owned a coffee house for a time, but wrote a contata about the drink – listen to it and feel super cultured.)

Coffee was never the kind of workhorse drink we see today, the one that people chug in greater quantities than water and keep topped up so it doesn’t get cold. So what happened?

As society shifted – prices fluctuated, classes became blurry and everyone was suddenly at work all day rather than in the house or ‘going visiting’ –  there simply became less time for the leisurely breakfast. Originally coffee turned into something that you gulped down for a caffeine shot before you left the house. When people began logging longer hours at the office, there was no time for afternoon tea, and dinner just became a late meal. ‘Coffee and a mint’ so late in the day made it harder to sleep (plus who needs conversation with the family?) and was slowly worked out of the routine. Then, younger employees started working more hours that were anxiety-inducing enough that they decided at least they could be drinking something decent while they were having their breakdowns.
So coffee evolved again. The cry went up for a drink that would caffeinate and be vaguely pleasant to taste, and companies looked to fill the demand. Or perhaps that was just a direct reaction to the “American coffee” jokes that poured in from Europe. Or maybe it was just the natural extreme ridiculous swing of the coffee-trend pendulum. Whatever it was, coffee became a whole new thing. Everywhere you turned there was a new Starbucks or mom n’ pop shop that wanted to be Starbucks while being ‘cute’ and thus appealing to hipsters. (The amount of flavors you can incorporate into your coffee is fascinating.)

While it’s not nearly so bad as it was for the first few years, it’s still pretty bad. The invention of Starbucks has in a large part ruined coffee. We’ve had to learn new sizes that make no sense whatsoever in the context of liquid. The pumps of blank, shots of blah, and so much milk that it doesn’t matter how bad the espresso is, make it an ordeal just to get a cup of joe, especially because the syrups and sizes now follow everyone around. It’s painful how many baristas I’ve overheard having to patiently explain to a customer that no, they don’t have a 20oz cup because that’s a stupid size for a non-chain to carry, that no, you can’t have an espresso in a 20oz cup because then it’s not espresso, or no, we don’t carry a Crayola-box-worthy array of taste-compromising syrups.

It’s equally unfortunate when you’re standing in line and overhear the customer in front of you ordering a cappuccino, only to complain about the amount of milk in it. The fact that they don’t even know what they’re ordering anymore only goes to show the depth of coffee ruination we’ve faced in the last decade. On the bright side, now that we can’t possibly go any lower, we can begin to dig ourselves back out and towards normality.