Social Aspects of Coffee

I feel that it's time to elaborate and vent on a topic that I quickly mentionned in my last post. I love coffee (and caffeine in general, for that matter). However, I seem to have a problem with those who put sugar in their coffee. To me, this was something I did when I first began to drink it, several years ago, and before I had properly acquired and developped a taste for it. It's interesting to me that some people continue to put pounds of sugar in their coffee after years of drinking it.

This tells me a few things about coffee drinkers, and I think there are two general categories.

1) There are those who genuinely enjoy the taste of coffee much like some enjoy the taste of a good beer or wine. These people will, after a certain period of time, be able to tell a good cup of coffee from a bad one, and also even the differences in taste and texture.

2) There are those who drink coffee either because they want/need the caffeine, and this is the best way to get it. The majority of these people actually don't like the taste of coffee, and drown it with 3 creams and 6 sugars. Some of those in this category also do it to fit into a certain social norm. There is a correlation between coffee and cigarettes, and those who smoke appear to be influenced either by personality type and pre-disposition, or by conformity to many other smokers who link the two habits together. I see this all the time as I walk by the hundreds of civil servants enjoying their cigarette break while sipping a Tim Hortons coffee.

I would hesitate to add a third group, but it's a class of people I don't even understand. It is the class of people who add 10 sugars in their coffee. Listen, fuckers, why don't you just stick to goddamn chocolate milk? I believe most of you hate the taste of coffee, but are socially inept and uncomfortable, so you try and use coffee as a tool. It is comfortable to fit in to a social situation if you are drinking a coffee. The caffeine will probably make you more at ease, and the fact that you have something to do with your hands makes you feel less "naked". Cigarette smokers probably exhibit similar phenomena. Coffee drinking is also perceived as being an "adult" thing to do, for whatever reason. Much like alcohol, it's seen as a right of passage. I figure people who try very hard to grow up will try very hard to drink coffee (complete with 10 coffees). Probably, too, these people are subconsciously attempting to show people a grown-up image, even though they're still kids inside.


At 10/10/05 8:32 PM, Anonymous ben said...

I have this image of the Tim Horton drive-through in the morning, with 20 SUV drivers emptying what's left of last morning's coffee by the window. They have the promotional Tim Horton mug with cheaper refills but are wasting more fuel waiting in that line than what they supposedly "save". Those who ask for 6 sugars and 3 creams should be forced to mix it up themselves while stuck in a traffic jam.

And what about people who drink instantaneous coffee ? I think they deserve a group :)

At 10/10/05 9:42 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

Hmmmm yeah, I didn't consider this. I also think that there should be a group for people who buy these $6 "fancy" Starbucks mocca java frappé cumstain supremes with extra whipped cream.

At 11/10/05 3:29 AM, Blogger Chartier said...

I especially think the last paragraph is important, because what bothers me THE most is that nobody seems to want to grab a coffee at someone's house. It's almost a public statement to grab a coffee now, and I believe it can be much more pleasant, not to mention cheaper, to grab some coffee at someone's house. Not forgetting the fact that it can be better coffee too.

At 11/10/05 11:31 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

You're absolutely right, that's a great point. Didn't think about that aspect. Coffee does seem to be a social status thing. Also, when people walk around with cups, I think the brands they display is also some kind of a status. Starbucks being more prestigious than Tim's, etc. This isn't to say that I don't enjoy coffee in social situations, though, but those who will only drink it (with the 10 sugars et al.) in coffee shops are a strange phenomena.

At 12/10/05 11:37 PM, Anonymous Meldon said...

Um, I was wondering, what about the guy who really enjoys coffee, black, the way its meant to be.

I personally like to find good coffee, that I can toss into my coffee maker (a piece of crap that cost 8$ at Canadian Tire) and get a good brew. I also try and tweak the water to grains ratio, to pull out maximum flavour for my coffee. I have tried coffee that costs 900$ a pound, but the moron who made it didnt understand the right way to prepare it (understanding that every coffee needs a certain amount of grains, varying on diffrent factors), although, even then, the coffee tasted amazing.

Also, there should be a group for the "fake afficinados", who buy triple esspresso "allongé" with cinnamon and all sorts of crap. They dont know diddly about good coffee. Someone somewhere is getting a great laugh at their expense by selling them 8 tablespoons of super bitter nasty tasting sludge for 12$.

And thats my opinion on coffee.

At 12/10/05 11:53 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

Was it Kope Luwak, the coffee bean that is eaten and digested by an animal? Supposed to be the best and most expensive out there.


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