Insight & Analysis

Coffee mugs

Published: Jul 2019

What’s more annoying than coffee-zealots over-earnestly plying their insanely-priced, overwrought beverages? Quite a lot actually, but at least one coffee vendor has had the decency to tell it like it is.

Described by one news site as ‘tongue-in-cheek’ – but in reality a well-needed kick against the rise of vacuous hipster culture – one café in the English seaside town of Poole, Dorset, has devised a “no nonsense coffee guide” for all who chafe against the rise of pretentious coffee-culture.

The sign outside their shop featured a list of the usual nonsensical variations on a theme, all of which had been crossed out. Beside each was a simplified version. Americano was retold as black coffee, cappuccino was frothy coffee, flat white was white coffee.

This simple act of rebellion in the face of ridiculousness stirred the caffeine-fuelled indignation of the coffee-cognoscenti.

Many took to social media, expressing – from a safe distance – their outrage that anyone could be so ignorant and dismissive about their drug of choice.

“I don’t want my coffee made by people who don’t understand coffee,” said one resentful commentator, clearly blessed with the kind of ‘insight’ and ‘aspirational lifestyle goals’ that marketing people just love.

Another angry person, desperate to defend their own standing in the world, sought to explain the nuances of a flat white. “It isn’t just ‘white coffee’,” they crowed, “that’s an Americano with milk”.

The act of apparent barbarism by a coffee shop proprietor had yet another stern critic liken the whole sorry experience to that of being confronted with a restaurant menu offering “bird meat, land animal meat, sea meat, vegetables”.

This is only true if ‘real’ coffee shops inform their punters of the type of coffee bean being used in the creation of their selected beverages. Which they probably do. For a fee.

But the anger surely abated when one comedically-inclined poster suggested that they “should have gone in and asked for a macchiato just to see their reaction”. The psychoactive chemicals in their presumably immense coffee intake clearly enabling such incisive wit. Well done.

“It’s only coffee. Calm down,” urged a lone voice of reason.

Also on the menu was tea (not coffee) and hot chocolate (also not coffee).

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