Commodity Coffee

Most of my weekday coffee comes from the office Flavia Creation® 400, so I’m not a total snob about coffee. Mostly I experience coffee as a comforting ritual and a vital part of my daily routine. I simply need the caffeine!

Since it’s the foundation for my every day, it’s good to see other folks espousing the virtues of commoditized coffee. In his article Keith Landolfi refers to it as “bad coffee” but I’m the type that thinks the only bad coffee is the kind you didn’t get to drink (caffeine withdrawal is no joke).

That isn’t too say I don’t still indulge in the snobbery of “no cream or sugar”, or only drinking the “Dark Magic” or “Black Silk” Keurig pods when I visit my In-Laws. I’m just happy that I have my morning joe, no matter how subjectively “good” it is.

The story Keith tells is as much about his personal journey as it is about coffee, but this part really stuck out to me:

Cheap coffee is one of America’s most unsung comfort foods. It’s as warming and familiar as a homemade lasagna or a 6-hour stew. It tastes of midnight diners and Tom Waits songs; ice cream and cigarettes with a dash of Swiss Miss.

This, to me, is how I think of my coffee drinking. It’s a part not just of who I am, but a part of the fabric of adulthood and Americana and life. It’s the (literal) bitter that brings the sweetness of living into starker contrast.

Okay, that was a little saccharine, but I think you know what I’m getting at.

For the record, here’s my weekend coffee snobbery:

  • Whole beans that I grind myself (preferably 100% Kona, if I can get it)
  • Brewed in my Aeropress, inverted method, with hot water from a hot water tap
  • Drunk happily in the kitchen like a Folgers Christmas ad

Until next time, enjoy your java, even if it isn’t locally sourced from Java.

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