Let me just say, I love coffee. And by ‘love,’ I mean love, crave, need, and adore. When I travel, I need coffee before I can go get coffee. You get what I’m saying.
And I like ‘good’ coffee. That means I don’t want to order coffee at McDonald’s and I buy Starbucks or Peet’s to make at home.
But there is only so much good to be had in a cup of coffee. That is my stance. It is at odds with a small number of my friends who enjoy paying $5 to watch a guy ceremonially prepare them a single cup of coffee.
Having just discovered Blue Bottle Coffee, founded by James Freeman and described to perfection here, I find my self enraged in the exact way I like to be enraged. Is there a word for that? Not schadenfreude. Wutfreude, maybe? I just tried to construct a German word for this feeling but it turned out to mean ‘sausage stand.’
Let’s let Mr. Freeman dig his own grave here:
Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a small network of cafes, wholesale partners, an espresso cart, and some vintage German coffee roasters. We are still united by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it.
Please. He means, everyone who’ll plunk down the money. But wait. There is more joy to be had in the liner notes of the beans they sell. Try this:
“Every year, our producer partner Aida Batlle pulls together a selection of some of the most delicious peaberry coffees from her farms in El Salvador. Once her Grand Reserve is available, it tends to stir up the sort of frenzied obsession among coffee people that Pliny the Younger stirs up among beerophiles – or that a well-salted salami stirs up among puppies. This year, the coffee surges with violet, plum, citrus and cocoa.”
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoa, now we’re talking. This is bullshit of the highest order. It is bullshit beyond satire, almost. Trying to find out how much they charge for a cup of coffee is exhausting. I gather it is $7 for a siphon coffee, which equals 2 cups. I have scanned fifty-thousand yelp reviews, which miraculously never mention an actual price. Perhaps James Freeman threatens to clobber them with a vintage German coffee roaster if they publish any prices.
Waiting in line seems to be a vital part of the Blue Bottle Coffee experience. They even show a nice long line on their website, as if it’s a good thing.
Blue Bottle’s investors include all the usual suspects from Silicon Valley. The company has tons of money but Freeman is really fastidious about everything. He won’t let supermarkets sell his coffee and explains his philosophy by quoting from the Myth of Sisyphus. God, what a Fucking Cunt™!
I can quote Camus too, motherfucker!
There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn
He wasn’t talking about coffee but I am. People like James Freeman are responsible for everything I hate. The relentless obsession with quality, the pretense of being authentic, the microscopic attention to superfluous detail, the elitist celebration of purity, it’s all awful.
What could be more bourgeois than this much fuss about a cup of coffee?