For The Love of God, People, It's Just Coffee

Let me start by saying that I like coffee. Not love, because I don’t equate my feelings for it with things that are truly important, like my family, friends, or Sour Cream and Onion Pringles. I know where my priorities are. But by all means, if I’m a little slow in the mornings, nothing like a nice little cup of coffee to get you going and let you deliciously suppress your body’s desire to sleep. I understand the appeal, and don’t deny anyone their right to really enjoy the stuff. But it’s not meth, and people need to stop treating it with the kind of fervor usually reserved for things that people named Crystal cook in their trailers.

If you are the kind of person who goes on a thirty-five minute tangent about how “OH MY GOD I NEED MY COFFEE I AM SUCH A WRECK WITHOUT IT UGH I WOULD DIE IF IT WEREN’T FOR MY COFFEE AMIRITE?!?” you need to not only get a grip on the meaning of the word “need,” but you also need to re-asses the hilarity of those webcomics you love to post everywhere that echo your inability to function without a morning cup of bean residue. Talking about how you ~*~omg totes need ur caffeine to function~*~ is the conversational equivalent of reading a Cathy comic. No one needs coffee. You could do with tea, or without anything, if the occasion called for it. Giving a crabby look and snapping that you “haven’t had your coffee” is being a child who refuses to sit still until he is given his pacifier. We all have problems, let’s be adults.

And for the people who may or may not “need” it in that egregious first world problems-sense, but who treat coffee as though it’s some kind of amalgam of wine, fois gras, and canary diamonds — you, too, should consider getting a grip. Now, I don’t care if you want to be the kind of guy who goes on a ten-minute tangent about the roundness of the mouthfeel of the Papua New Guinea Reserve you just got in (I have worked at a brutally hipster coffee shop, I know that some of these people can be nice deep down), but don’t treat everyone else like a mouth-breathing neanderthal if they enjoy a little sugar and cream. There’s no reason to look at someone as though they’re personally stabbing you if you mention how you like Frappucinos, or think that Dunkin’ Donuts makes a really good roast (WHICH IS TRUE, DAMNIT). The thing is, going to “cuppings” — a wine tasting for coffee, essentially — or “barista jams” — yes, people actually say this word with no trace of irony — is great! Everyone’s allowed their niche interests. But the rest of us aren’t philistines because we like the errant Caramel Macchiato, and no amount of “but you really need to drink this one at precisely 110 degrees, anything more and you lose that chocolate finish” is going to convince us not to just want to dump three Splenda in.

I say this with love, because I feel like our relationship with coffee has gotten so strange as a culture in the past twenty years, and we should be focusing such absurd attention on something that is really worth getting so obnoxious over — like whether the Euro will be around in 2 years, and if Germany is going to become the de facto ruler of any federation that might arise.*

*Just kidding, I meant whiskey. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • Nishant

    Last line. GOLD. And living in the Netherlands for the past 2 years, I couldn’t agree more with this article!

  • Sarah

    preach on, sister. coffee snobs are some of the most annoying snobs out there. at this early hour, i can’t think of anything more petty than someone who obsesses over coffee.

  • Josef

    Also, what’s with the people who ‘need coffee’ yet come back from Starbucks with a mocha frappuccino or whatever the hell it is. 

    If you want coffee, get coffee. If you want a milkshake, go to McDonald’s. 

  • Sahar Soos

    I don’t even drink coffee and I function just fine, imagine my confusion/wonder when I see people freaking about starting the day without it.. -_-

  • lou

    So happy to meet a fellow proponent of Dunkin Donuts kawfee. #swag

  • Kyna Borlasa

    Right. Coffee now even is a big status symbol.

  • mmmcoffee

    ignorant neanderthal probably drinks and enjoys gas station coffee

    • Spencer Niemetz


  • Kristin

    I so agree with this! Black coffee is just something I choke down in the morning in order to stay “regular.” I can’t even handle when someone says, “let’s go for a coffee,” I take it as a u euphemism for “beer” and make sure we meet at a pub, not Starbucks

    • Spencer Niemetz


  • Shawn

    AMIRITE” <—— stealing this.

  • Spencer Niemetz

    One of my biggest secrets is my love for gas station cappuccinos. It’s like pure sugar vanilla caramel milk with some coffee splashed in and it’s like $1.50 and it is a GODSEND!!!

    • Kai

      See also, Tim Horton’s “cappuccino”.

      • Jess

        Canada,  represent.

  • Sophia

    Thanks so much for this. I never drink caffeine and am sick of people acting like it’s some sort of end-all be-all of human life. I’m doing just fine, thanks, and no, I don’t care if I’m “crazy.”

    • Jvo

      …but it is end-all be-all feeling. have a cup of joe already

  • jem

    I think you captured coffee pretension perfectly. I will feel so much better ordering my Caramel Macchiato today. :) Cheers

  • Adam Ruhl


  • Anonymous

    Look forward to your companion piece on gourmet sea salt, “For The Love of God, People, It’s Just Sea Salt.”  Particularly interested to read your take on the Hawaiian varieties! 

  • Incilin

    In fact, an apple in the morning is better than a cup of coffee. Not only will it keep you up but its has way more nutrients. #themoreyouknow

    • Jvo9568


    • Guest

      is this twitter?

  • LDiggitty

    I, too, worked in a hipster independent coffee shop – and I completely agree that Dunkin Donuts has some pretty bad-ass coffee. I will also confess that I went to Starbucks this weekend (I had a gift card, damn it!) and, while they made my latte, I looked around and grudgingly admitted that I wouldn’t mind camping out there with my laptop for a few hours. Oh, the shame!!! 

  • Jeremy Swan

    People who “need” coffee are probably addicted so they get headaches when they don’t drink it.  This is like the headaches induced from reading your desire for sour cream and onion pringles.  It’s obvious you have no taste.  ;p

    • Jvo9568

      hell yea.

    • kh303

      agreed 120%

  • Gregory Costa

    Chelsea, you + me for coffee soon?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, person whose comments I consistently enjoy.

  • Guest

    quick question: have you ever had to wake up at 4:15 am and work a 12 hour shift constantly on your feet? then you may understand the necessity of coffee.

  • kgb kgbb

    It’s more habit with me to have my coffee and smokes in the morning until I feel like doing anything.  
    And yes, I put 9 sugars and a ton of creamer in it.  Don’t care what kind it is, but I hate weak coffee and flavored coffee.  (Just a personal taste, not against them.)
    And I wish I had a Dunkin Donuts around here so I can try their coffee!

  • Kai

    I can live without coffee, but I’m a bitch without it.

    Is the underlying issue that I’m a bitch? Yes. But I’m an easier-to-deal-with bitch after coffee.

  • J in DC

    Geez  …. now I am really in the mood for a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, with a jelly donut.  Ahh …….

  • April

    When I (briefly) stopped drinking coffee, the headaches and irritability were worse than when I (hopefully more than briefly) stopped smoking crystal. Caffeine withdrawal is awful. 

  • Kait

    Talking about coffee > Talking about the weather.

  • Jordan

    right… i fucking love coffee and i don’t care who knows it.

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