I was a teenage coffee snob

 I was a teenage coffee snob.

I would not drink an espresso shot unless it was pulled in 20 seconds. I refused to drink coffee that wasn’t freshly ground — in a burr grinder — immediately before brewing. I would not subject coffee I brewed to the abuse of a coffee-maker hot plate, insisting instead on a thermal carafe.

During the time in high school and college I spent as a barista, I looked down on the idiots to whom I served almond-coconut lattes with soy milk. And would I smile when a customer ordered a double machiato. They knew what they were drinking; they were a kindred coffee spirit.

Flash forward several years. A friend is explaining why she hates visiting her father-in-law. He is a cheapskate for the ages. She enumerates the sins of his cheapness. Then, at least as I remember it, she gets to the story’s kicker.

He actually makes, she says with a tone that suggests that this sin is akin to winging trespassing neighborhood children with a BB-gun, he actually makes a pot of coffee every morning that he drinks the entire day, long after it has become drinkable and gets pissed if I pour it out and make fresh.

And that’s where she lost me. While I was too ashamed to admit it then, I will now: I drink day-old coffee all the time.

I resisted drinking day-old coffee for so long, either dumping the leftovers or serving them to my wife. But now I find finding left-over coffee in the pot a minor pleasure: in the morning means drinking coffee without the fuss of making it.

Sure their are times when the bitter skunkiness of day-old coffee sends spasms down my spine, but if Michael Ruhlman can profess a deep love for percolators and Folgers, surely I can live down a willingness to drink day-old coffee.

6 thoughts on “I was a teenage coffee snob”

  1. You are probably the trend and that is why Starbucks is selling instant coffee. It is easy and less skunky than day-old coffee.

  2. I’m a self admitted coffee snob, even going so far as to roast my own beans. There is nothing better than the perfect ristretto.

    I also enjoy quality cigars. The best advice I ever got about cigars came from a long-time smoker who at one time had over 10k cigars. After getting hung up chasing the popular cigars, he told me, “Smoke what you like. Like what you smoke”.

    The same goes for coffee.

  3. Joe, that’s good advice for anything. It’s also the way I justify drinking Wine Cube wine from Target and Pabst Blue Ribbon on occasion.

  4. I’m also never one to turn down free anything. My own mother did call me cheap once. (“I meant economical, Nick.”)

  5. For wine, go to John’s and get a bottle of Crane Lake Malbec. Best $4 you’ll spend.

    And I’m a devoted PBR drinker.

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