Knowing Me, Knowing Coffee

I think I’m a Caffeine Snob.

I say this with some degree of alarm, as I have never knowingly taken an elitist attitude about anything. Other than spelling and grammar, I suppose, but that’s not snobbery, it’s just good sense.

Anyway, so I was round visiting MonkeyMrs the other night. “Hello!” was her first word. “Coffee?” was her second. I have included a question mark here, but I feel it to be slightly redundant given that she was already standing in the kitchen measuring out the coffee by this point. A small discussion ensued about the brand in use; it had been given to the MonkeyPersons as a gift, but was apparently a little weak. Disappointed, I looked at MonkeyMrs, pretending not to be disappointed.

“Oh, it’s OK,” she reassured me with cheerful confidence. “I’m just making it with double the normal ratio of coffee to water. It’s great!”

All was well. “I was going to have some of the Good Coffee earlier,” she explained as she poured it. “But MonkeyMan pointed out that I’d more than likely be making it when you came round, anyway.” I nodded understandingly, but tried to appear humble. “You don’t have to make the Good Coffee just for me, you know,” I said unconvincingly. She laughed as if this was the funniest joke she’d heard all week. “Don’t be silly!” she replied, “you can’t not have Good Coffee when Hails comes over!”

We settled back with coffee and chocolates to discuss the problems with living in a town populated by people who are generally undereducated in the finer points of caffeine enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong: I, too, recall the days when instant was enough. It got me through my GCSEs and A Levels, and for that I am grateful. However, there has to be a time when we, as a town, move forward. It pleases me to note that tentative steps are being taken. We have gone from cafés to specialist coffee shops within a brief 20-year period, after all, and just last year the number of Starbucks branches in the town effectively doubled! There are two now.

My caffeine snobbery became most apparent to me at the point when MonkeyMrs reached the end of a soul-destroying tale about the absence of not just Good Coffee, but Any Decent Coffee Whatsoever at her workplace. “I mean – and I’m not even joking here, Hails – they were drinking…” She closed her eyes at the memory. “…Maxwell House.” I choked on my Good Coffee and looked at her with undisguised horror. “I know!” she exclaimed, nodding vigorously. “Why in the world would you drink Maxwell House?! It’s… it’s…”

“…instant,” I finished solemnly. “Exactly,” she replied. Together, we took a Biscuit-like moment.

I’m glad we have each other.


15 thoughts on “Knowing Me, Knowing Coffee

  1. HAHAHA i never ever accept coffee in anyones elses house! EVER! i could not hide my disgust on one occasion when being served instant crap! I was silent for a moment and after a few sips started to wax lyrical about good coffee and how i have a jar of instant at home but i tend to only use it in extreme emergencies cuz its just shite! (I ACTUALLY SAID SHITE) HAHA
    since then i always say ‘tea or a cold drink will be fine’ …………..i know someone who works with me (andru) who asked if our tea in the shop was tetley? to which he replied “oh its got to be nambarrie or punjana” lol tea snob

  2. The local Faith Mission Bookshop manager, ladies and gentlemen. ;)

    Ally, I appreciate your empathy, kind sir. And Andru gets that from his mother, who truly believes that tea has some sort of healing power. I did, however, manage to introduce her to the Gingerbread Latte last year…

  3. MONKEY MRS says:

    I am now glad to inform you that as from Monday we will be going back to good coffee at work since I have finally remembered to purchase some. Had to suffer Maxwell house for long enough last week- I mean do people not care what they are putting into their bodies??? Had some fine Peru coffee this morning at a very well mentioned previously establishment!!! Glad you are my coffee friend!

  4. tenacioustimothy says:

    Ha- agree with you about instant! I have taken it a step further though unfortunately and will go to Starbucks as my second choice…think Costa Coffee is a bit smoother and it has the added benefit of stopping my migraine in its tracks!!

  5. MonkeyMrs – We ran out of the Columbian blend today and I had to resort to my emergency Lidl supply… it was bearable, though. I just used an obscene amount.
    Tenacious Tim – I haven’t had Costa for years. I think the novelty of finally having a Starbucks in town went straight to my head! ;)

  6. A sacrifice worthy of a promotion, in my opinion. I am always amazed to see instant coffee beverage still on the shelves at the store. I would have thought that it would have gone the way of fizzies and bosco by now.

  7. Pingback: Saturday Surfing
  8. Hello!

    Looks like you have some passion to coffee and have blog about it. I have the same passion too. That’s why I created small social network about coffee – Coffeenatic. Probably you would be interested to participate in it. It specializes in reviewing different coffee kinds by users in order to choose best for you. It also is coffee recipe sharing community if you like not just espresso but also more unusual ones. Probably your knoweledge will help others or you’ll just improve it.

    If you will like it, write about it in your blog please. It will helps spread the rumor and improve quality of information on the Coffeenatic.


  9. billybrid says:

    Andru is daft. Yes, Tetley is rubbish (tastes like liquified cardboard, actually), but Nambarrie is at least as bad. Punjana is the worst, though – it tastes like Tetley but is more expensive. It’s the tea of snobs who don’t know better!!

    Pratt’s is probably the best tea I’ve had…or the Co-Op’s Fair Trade one.

    NB: Tetley Green Tea is actually very nice.

  10. MONKEY MRS says:

    well another thing that bugs me is why people won’t buy fairtrade coffee which is great and also better for the farmers! Have a great website where such fine blends can be purchased and it is all fairly traded. It’s called source to source, coffee is mighty fine. Am trying to educate the staff at work but somehow they just don’t listen, maxwell house and mellow bird indeed!!!

  11. Mike – People like you improve our world.
    Bríd and Ally – Excuse me. How did this become a TEA debate?! Tea… pah.
    MonkeyMrs – I wondered when that was coming! ;)

    I’m telling you – you write a post about coffee and the commenters go nuts. Coffee Helps promote your blog, on top of everything else…

  12. Hi! Hails

    This post really made me laugh.

    You see, I’m a complete coffee snob as well. Life without coffee…well, it just doesn’t bear thinking about. I plan my route for the day around my next cup of coffee – a sure sign of an addiction – and it has to be REAL coffee! And I’d have to be paid to drink Maxwell House and even then I’d have reservations – yuk!

    I wrote a (rather dull) post some time ago about my love of coffee and how it helps to keep me on the straight and narrow in times of need.

    T’was good to meet you, with Grannymar, at the IBA’s. Great night, wasn’t it?


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