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.