it's not all great. some of it is okay. even less is excellent. and most of it is absolutely dreadful. i'm talking about coffee, obviously. i am, after all writing this on a coffee-centric website.
i'm not a snob when it comes to drinking coffee. i'll drink it most places i go. but some industry professionals i know will only drink coffee at 'good coffee shops'. it's almost as if their delicate palates would be offended by anything less. now please don't think i'm suggesting that i don't appreciate good coffee. i do. very much so. but like i said, i'll drink coffee pretty much anywhere i go. restaurants. hotels. gas stations. airports. i was recently on a delta flight to atlanta. going down for the wbc. and the coffee was, quite predictably, absolutely terrible. it tasted the way that burning tires smell.
on the other hand. another recent flight, this time on midwest where they serve alterra, the coffee was reasonable. not great. it was after all, brewed on at 10,000 ft. but on par with the majority of coffee shops that i seem to find myself in.
i guess i put myself through this because it keeps me grounded. it keeps me in touch with reality, so to speak. now in a perfect world everyone would be practicing the idea's that we've all grown to love. every store would be a third wave shop. in every cafe across the land people would be drinking 6oz drinks and geeking out about varietals. direct trade practices. agricultural techniques. reg barbers new tamp design etc. etc. etc.
but that is simply not the case. i need to be reminded that this little barista/specialty coffee bubble that we create for ourselves is not reality for the majority of people. it a cruel world out there.
on a larger scale, specialty coffee is really a very small part of a much bigger market. now i'm not trying to trivialize the importance of the specialty coffee industry. absolutely not. it's the industry that i work in. it's what i do. it's what i love. and it's certainly important. ideas and practices, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, get passed down the line from specialty coffee to the industry at large.
but a large portion of the public doesn't even know we exist. doesn't know what good coffee is. has no idea that coffee doesn't need to taste burnt or bitter. that it can taste like citrus. or chocolate. or rootbeer and cherry-lime cheesecake. that it can be sweet without adding splenda. or creamy without adding heavy cream.
and if they do know we exist, they don't understand why we get so excited about it. after all, its only coffee.
now i never intended this to be any sort of state of the union address, or other such nonsense. these are just the thought that have been running through my head of late.
i guess its intended to spark some discussion. and i hope it does just that.