Coffee geekery: how much is too much?

July 01, 2011


Short answer:



There’s no such thing as too much. I enjoy coffee and have, in fact, thrown myself into it to the point that “hobby” doesn’t quite capture the relationship. Embrace the geekery. Own it. You could certainly find riskier (extreme sports), lamer (collecting action figures), or pricier (stereo equipment) outlets for your enthusiasm.



Longer answer:



There has to be a limit. Watch this hilarious (and slightly PG-13) video on “Monsters of the Third Wave” for some relevant satire if the spirit moves you. I tend to feel the urge to draw lines in the sand when I’m out, traveling, or with family.



For example, I won’t hold up a line of people in order to pick a barista’s brain about what dose they’re using or when their beans were roasted. Of course, if the shop is empty those questions and others become fair game (depending on the vibe).



Similarly, I won’t pursue the "perfect" set-up for traveling. Others have lost sleep over this very topic, and the results of their hand-wringing make for fine online entertainment (see here, among other places). Personally, when I'm on the road I don’t obsess about coffee. I can turn it off. Absence (of the good stuff) makes the heart grow fonder, instilling appreciation for what I can brew back home. Instead, I embrace coffee tourism, exploring whatever the city I’m visiting has to offer. If it’s nothing much, I make do.



Case in point: We’ve got a Caribbean vacation coming up. I did allow myself to ask ahead of time what the coffee situation would be like in our room’s kitchen. As it turns out, we’ll have a drip machine [edit: it turned out to be a percolator; see here]. Great. I’ll pregrind and pack some fantastic, freshly roasted beans I have on hand and try not to think about how much more flavorful my morning cups would have been if only I’d brought a Kyocera along. With an ocean view, a pristine beach, and laughing children to distract me, the truth is I won’t have to try very hard at all.



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