In our profession, Coffee—note the capital C—is lifeblood. There’s a reason for that. And it isn’t just flavor.
So this morning, my wife came up while I was getting ready. “Deep thought,” she said as she sipped. “If you don’t use enough beans, you’re just wasting it.”
Deep thought, indeed. Why go to the effort of making it if you aren’t going to make it great? What’s the point of almost good? Why not work to create the perfect cup?
Of course, this slippery definition of “good” has been well-hashed, here and elsewhere. It leads exactly two places: nowhere and not far. No different with coffee. And like I said, it’s not always just about flavor. So some people like it weak. They may not be able to handle the stronger acid or caffeine. Maybe it doesn’t agree with them.
Not everyone is going to agree with your definition of the perfect cup.
But then there are those who just believe they know what they prefer. Maybe all they’ve ever had is Sanka. Or MJB.
Good is the enemy of great.
Or so we’ve heard. Fact is, none of us know what The Perfect Cup is. There’s always someone who makes it better. No one’s been everywhere.
Let’s extend the metaphor. Exercise. If you don’t get enough, there’s little point. Or food. If you don’t eat enough, you waste away.
The opposite is true if you’re starving. Go without too long and scarfing rich food could kill you. You can definitely overdo it on exercise. And coffee for that matter. Moderation is still a good rule.
But even if you like your coffee a little weaker, and you don’t need a lot of food and exercise, you don’t get to decide how others take their coffee. There’s a “right” way to make it, sure. And that’s according to each person’s particular tastes. And it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way if someone else makes it differently.
But if they’re making it for you, on your dime, do you just take it and smile? Keep polite? Mouth shut? They’re your tastes, right? You may offend someone.
But I guess that’s life. Different needs and desires. Different opinions. It’s what makes it fun. I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of trying to tell people what they should like, but I’m done with that. People can drink any old coffee any way they want. Heck, they can even drink Sanka.
(My impassioned pleas for stronger joe won’t stop entirely until there’s more of it in general. I’m still looking for that perfect cup. But I’m really hoping the evidence of it helps me quit judging the old stuff. I think it’s just time to refocus.)
But when I’m drinking it, I’m still gonna use enough beans.