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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