As anyone who knows me well enough to read my blog knows, I love Hawai’i Five-0 more than hipsters love Instagram. And as in most things, I look to the gayest implied heterosexuals in primetime television to give me a quotable quotable on which to wax poetic about something spectacular.
voracious bottom tatted up hero Steve McGarrett asserts that “Coffee is not a relationship; it’s a beverage.”
Oh Steven, we would so infrequently disagree with your gorgeous self, but in this case, we must offer hearty dissent. Coffee, you see, is one of the great wonders of the world, and we’re not just talking about the fact that it’s essentially legalized cocaine in drinkable form (without the metallic tasting postnasal drip – so we’re told). Nay, coffee is a relationship – we might even go so far as to say coffee is love.
From a pragmatic perspective, there’s not a lot to love about coffee. It’s a non-edible cash crop grown in poorer nations for the export to the first world so the bourgeoisie can shell out the equivalent of a day to a month’s wage in the country the beans were procured from for a cup and claim it takes the edge of their nearly intolerable suburban working professional lives. So the right side of the brain doesn’t like coffee, but the left side adores it.
Said a better way, coffee is a plant in which the quality of the finished product is actually improved commensurate with the adversity of the climate from which it sprouts. Bad climate and low crop yield lead to the best coffee, which (allow us to get misty here for but a moment) appeals to our American worship of tenacity and individualism. It’s special because it overcomes obstacles, prized because it’s relatively rare. Not only is it grown in romantically beautiful, harsh locales (remote high altitude locations on the slopes of volcanoes seem to be popular), but it’s picked, dried, and sorted with great care, shipped thousands of miles and roasted with artisanal dedication, fussily ground and lovingly brewed into the penultimate daily ritual for millions. If that’s not love, show me what is. (Okay, okay, forget about McDanno for a minute, will ya – cause I know half of you have watched that video clip more than twice before reading this far.)
I buy my coffee at Starbucks- ok, yes, I’ll pause here for the deluge of hate, but let me say this: Starbucks loves coffee. I know the cynics among you will say, “No, Starbucks loves money.” To which I rebut: “Shave your neck, hipster. I know pretending not to like money is back in fashion, but put down the iCrack and listen to me for a minute will ya?” Bankers love money. Kardashians love money. Starbucks really does love coffee (even if they do happen to make a lot of money doing it, but if you look around you’ll notice companies that have a passionate love affair for the product they’re touting also have a tendency to be financially successful). I mean seriously. It’s really about love. Making sure the coffee is ethically sourced be requiring the growers to pay everybody a living wage isn’t exactly money-grubbing, and it really does make the brew less bitter.
I also detract from those who use words like “buzz” or “high” or “jitters” to describe their caffeine kick. For me it’s actually something of a mellow. It’s an alert, productive mellow, but it’s still the same mellow that comes with absolute enjoyment of something beloved. So, again, haters, no blaming caffeine for the highly strung – we’ll need a new scapegoat there.
I think I’ve ranted long enough. My coffee cup is in need of a warmup.