Of Coffee, Verbs and Waves

March 21, 2011

A few days ago, Kathleen O’Brien wrote a very humorous perspective on the current coffee scene. She describes the upgrading of coffee since the diner days to the current age of fancy schmancy brew methods and coffee types. If you’re old enough to remember the Denny’s and the diners with their bottomless drip coffees, continuously filled by “gum-chewing waitresses”, you’ll appreciate the humor. From the mouth burning bad diner coffee to the much better brew available today, we’ve come a long way in vocabulary. It’s the coffee preparation verbs that have O’Brien fighting to stay current. The perking and dripping of coffee are so 70’s, and no one wants to be so backward as to use such language. While she pines for a pot that just “makes” coffee, she’d be much more hep if she has one that “infuses”. Even so, with some of the newer models, she would have to hire a personal barista just to operate them. As to the prices – O’Brien remarks how amazed she is to see price tags of coffee machines higher than those of kitchen stoves. Right she is to be amazed at such things. We just read about the third wave of coffee being upon us, where we now pour-over water instead of drip-over water to brew our java. The coffee scene is changing so rapidly. Will today’s $1500 espresso machine soon be passé, as third wavers would rather take their time pouring water over the pot with a long spouted pitcher? When will the “pulling” of a shot be outdated by the “pouring”? Will pulling become “so 10’s” (as in 2010-2019)? The coffee scene to the philosophical among us seems to reflect our greater world. We dare not stop lest we be overtaken by the newest wave to hit the beach. I’ll ponder this over my next cup of pressed brew.



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