5 Ways You Suck At Drinking Coffee

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June 1, 2015 by The Zemanifesto

San Francisco commuter en route to the co-op.

San Francisco commuter en route to the co-op.

If you’re like most people — and trust me, you are — you pretty much fuck up everything you touch, including your morning coffee.

Here’s the shortlist of five ways you’re almost certainly ruining what was a perfectly good beverage until you came along.

1. You only drink “the best” coffee

The coffee spectrum is too vast to explore exhaustively in a single human lifespan. Imagine Bubba from Forrest Gump, rambling about shrimp’s culinary versatility, only through brown, chattering teeth, at 500 words per-minute, for all eternity.

So what makes good coffee good? Let’s check in with some “experts” on the matter…

Seattle — a trio of learned coffee scholars discuss the finer points of bean selection:

“Never drink robusta coffee, only use 100% arabica beans.” 

“Indeed, and only beans from the west coast of Java.”

                “No, sir, you surely mean to say only beans from the Kona Coast or the Jamaican Blue Mountains.” 

“Silence, cretins! The beans must be harvested from the northernmost tip of the Island of Sumatra, high atop Gayo Mountain.”

             “Northern Sumatra? HA! If you aren’t getting your Sumatran beans from Lintongnihuta why don’t you just drink piss?”

“Piss? If your coffee beans aren’t being eaten and shit out by Vietnames civets, why even get up in the morning?”

     “CIVETS? If you don’t drink coffee beans digested by free-range Thai elephants, how do you even fall asleep at night in the first place?”

“Well you’re the expert on sleep, mr. espresso roast — if you don’t drink light roast why don’t you just chug Nyquil?” 

               “So it’s caffeine you want? Why don’t you speed-freaks just drink robusta then? Why don’t you just drink fucking INSTANT?”

“HOW DARE YOU!”                                      “HOW DARE YOU!”

[faces are slapped with silk gloves, rapiers are drawn and bloodshed ensues]

It isn’t hard to find these people in real life. You can often tell them by their use of phrases like “real coffee.” They think very highly of their ever-so-refined palates and won’t hesitate to explain how awful whatever coffee you like is compared to the sweet nectar they sip.

If you’re taking advice from people who talk like this, you definitely pay too much for your coffee. And then, after you’ve poured all that time and money into buying “the best” beans you can find…



2. You pour a bunch of bullshit into your cup

I generally take my coffee hot with two F’and two E’s, but I’m not here to chastise you for not liking black coffee or enjoying an iced mocha or whatever. What consenting adults do with their own coffee on their own time is none of my business.

But I doubt you’d use a 21-year-old single malt scotch to make whiskey sours. So why are you using artisanal beans cave-aged in 17th Century cognac barrels and hand-roasted in tiny batches by Peruvian shamans to make a fucking milkshake?

If you buy expensive “premium” coffee, then bury it under a deluge of sugar, flavor syrups and “creamers,” you don’t actually like coffee., you like buying expensive shit that rots your teeth, makes you poop and keeps you awake. Considering the price most coffee shops charge for one of those frosty monstrosities, you might actually save money by switching to meth or cocaine.

But some of you drink regular hot coffee and just like a little cream and sugar. Except…

3. You use milk instead of cream (WHY?)

There’s a reason Nat King Cole didn’t sing “you’re the milk in my coffee,” well, two reasons. For one, “you’re the cream in my coffee” has much better rhythm and alliteration.

But more importantly, Nat was trying to sweet talk his woman, not insult her. And putting milk in your coffee is fucking bullshit. Telling a woman she’s the milk in your coffee is like telling her she’s the water in your cereal.

I’m usually a black coffee guy, but if I have access to some heavy or whipping cream, you can bet even money a splash of it is going into my cup. It’s like little silk and velvet hands massaging the coffee into your fucking tongue.

I mean, if you want to use some kind of almond, soy or whatever juice (that shit isn’t milk, dude) be my guest. Like I said before, I’m not here to be the coffee police. But if you are going to use something that came from a cow, why wouldn’t you pick the thing that actually makes your coffee taste better, not just colder?

Also, if you aren’t lactose intolerant and you use non-dairy creamer with any frequency, there’s something seriously wrong with you. And if you use half-and-half, really just make up your fucking mind.

This is you. This is what you look like, only without the monocle and Dalí mustache.

This is you. This is what you look like, only without the monocle and Dalí mustache.

4. You think you’re too good for instant

I can personally testify that having a few packets of instant in your jacket pocket is a godsend when you wake up in a strange place the morning after a solid drunk.

But don’t take my word for it. Roughly half the world loves instant coffee. It’s only in the United States that there’s a bizarre cultural aversion to the stuff. It’s more or less just a hangover from when Baby Boomers tried to reinvent themselves as yuppies by shitting on anything their poor parents could afford — Sharper Image espresso maker, anyone?

Instant coffee is so uncool, you would think hipsters might be drinking it ironically, but they all seem to be on the premium roast bandwagon too. Which is fine by me, cause I can buy my favorite brand of instant for $1 per jar.

If you want to understand the entire instant coffee production process, allow this british person to explain it to you, but here’s the basic rundown:

  • Coffee beans are roasted
  • Roasted beans are coarse ground
  • Coffee is flash brewed with steam pressure
  • Coffee is heated and condensed down to an extract
  • Coffee extract is frozen, dehydrated and packaged

So instant isn’t some inferior coffee substitute. It’s basically coffee hash. You aren’t too good for coffee hash.

5. You drink light roast for the caffeine any reason

I know I said to drink whatever tastes good to you, but I feel duty-bound to inform you that light roast sucks. You all need to accept that. The shit tastes like dirty dishwater.

If you want more caffeine you should drink another cup of coffee, although chances are if you like light roast you fall under heading number two and take it with two scoops of vanilla anyway, so taste is obviously a moot point in your case.

But you know, do whatever you want. I’ll just be over here judging you mercilessly over a nice steamy mug of dollar store espresso roast.


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