Coffee shops are becoming too pretentious, according to writer Rebecca Flint Marx. In New York, pretentious doesn’t sell, so the Third Wave Coffee movement that has hit the west coast is not catching on that quickly in the Big Apple. Marx says that this difference illustrates “the divide between how East and West Coasts view coffee”. Coffee enthusiasts have complained that despite New York City’s wonderful restaurant offerings, when it comes to coffee, the city is backwards, one might even say primitive.
The good news is that the divide is lessening, since some out-of-towners have brought micro-roasters to town. There are some new third wave coffee shops, but one of them received Marx’s ire for charging $12 for a cup of coffee. She doesn’t like to be reminded about how expensive her city is and high prices such as this are a poor reminder. It’s not only the high price of third wave, but Marx also has a problem with some of the dramatic flair of third wave baristas, latte art competitions and siphon bars. She is sensitive to attempts to change the ambiance of NYC to be more like that of San Francisco or Portland.
Better to stay with the less frilly, less “pretentious” old faithful coffee, as she says it’s “as intrinsic to the city’s fabric as cockroaches and sidewalk rage. Bad – or at least cheap – coffee is its own source of pride, a comforting reminder that even under constant bombardment from myriad other forms of pretension……our cups of hot brown water are a constant.” Writer Marx is not only lashing out at the pretentiousness of third wave coffee shops but has used the same wording in criticizing other types of restaurants in the city. So coffee shops are not being singled out as pretentious.
A clue to her anti-third wave coffee culture stance may be found in her own description of her fav coffee as “hot brown water.” If one’s fav coffee is nothing more than hot brown water, it might be quite a leap to take in macchiato’s or a venti mocha latte flat white for sure. And she obviously hasn’t tasted some good high quality unpretentious CoffeeKind coffees!