28 December 2004
This Article was written by Aaron Orr, Watchtan’s part-time contributer.
I’ve become a remorseless coffee snob. Perhaps I’ve been one for a long time and have only now realized it.
Those of you who know me know I don’t do anything half-heartedly. I also don’t accept less than the best when it comes to my things.
Having said that I give you the following facts: The only places I’ve ever had coffee or coffee-based beverages (aside from the hardware store coffee I couldn’t get enough of at age 8) have been at my parents’ house, Brian’s, Casey’s, or at coffee shops. The aforementioned places always have great, freshly-ground coffee. Anything less is unacceptable.
I have come into near-ownership (possession being 9/10ths of the law) of a fairly new Starbucks Barista Athena espresso machine. Ever since I was up in Kirkuk toward the beginning of 2004 and began using said machine I’ve had access to many different kinds of vacuum-sealed whole beans, mostly from Starbucks. Needless to say I’ve not been drinking the sludge produced at the chow hall.
I have one bag of Starbucks House Blend my Mom sent me several weeks ago. Alas, like all good things this bag of coffee will shortly come to an end. I’ve been making several cappuccinos (or is that cappuccini?) a week for myself and my friends here. The other day I drearily realized that this bag of whole beans is nearly depleted.
So I grabbed a small bag of pre-ground “Helmut Puck Signature Series” grounds from a communal care package and threw some grounds into the espresso basket.
My preferred method of consumption is to sit in a comfortable chair and enjoy the aroma, the color, the texture and the taste of my beverage, whilst writing, reading, or doing nothing at all but relaxing.
The flavor of this “HPSS” was flat, stale and totally uninviting to the taste buds. I found myself drinking it, not because I enjoyed it but, because I was in denial. I kept thinking, “This is certainly not as rotten as my mouth is telling me it is.” I did not enjoy it in the least.
Were all coffee this bad the only people who would drink it would be the hard-core addicts who merely need a fix.
So to you, Brian, Casey, Dad and Mom, thanks for helping to refine my taste to make me a snobbish aficionado, not just some kind of caffeinated junkie who needs a fix of anything.