HOW NOT TO BE A COFFEE SNOB (WHEN YOU’RE A COFFEE SNOB)
I wouldn’t call myself a coffee snob. It’s not nice to call people coffee snobs so I extend that etiquette to myself, even though I am one.
I don’t mean to be, it’s just that I like coffee. I love it, really. And I want each cup that I drink to be a celebration of all that is good and wonderful about it – its jazzy jamminess, a posy of bergamot, or its smooth chocolate fondue flavour. It’s a music festival in a mug. Good coffee is great and I want to get amongst it! But I don’t want to be associated with those coffee snobs.
‘I only drink Yirgacheffe from 2000+masl’ (more about the altitude attitude here!)
‘Have you tried the 68 hour fermented heirloom geisha from central Costa rica? It was fine I guess. Maybe I would have liked it more if my palate was less refined.’
‘All my friends ask me where the good coffee is because they know I’m a coffee snob. I say here, and 7-Eleven.’ (Direct quote.)
You’re not that guy pal!
It’s a fine line between wanting good coffee all the time and not sounding like (or being) a fuss-bucket, but achievable. And indeed must be achieved, for the furthering of specialty coffee beyond the elitist few to the outer echelons of culture, which is instrumental to burgeoning industry, requires communicating the beauty of coffee. It relies on you not to be a snoot.
The scenario of you, other people, and drinking coffee generally falls into one of two categories; one where you are in control of making or choosing the coffee, and one where you’re not. If you’re not in control of the coffee situation, your imagination takes the wheel. Firstly, imagine your mum towering over you while you kick and beat your fists on the floor because your doughnut didn’t have enough yellow sprinkles – saying ‘you get what you get and you don’t get upset.’ Then, just say the coffee doesn’t quite compare to what you’re used to, don’t compare! Imagine it’s a beverage entirely in its own category. The hot, maybe a little bitter, maybe a little smoky category. The subpar beverage is now a ten of ten!
However, if you are in control, this is your time, use it well. Choose your favourite cafe with coffee so amazing they’ll forget their mums’ name, make them a coffee using scales, filters, heck use a refractometer if you want! Prepare a powerpoint presentation of the farm to cup journey, tell them to look for the notes of apricot, but most importantly, if they ask for sugar, ask them how many.