Enthusiast, lover, junkie….call me what you will but please do not call me a coffee snob. When I hear that phrase I always cringe as if someone had run their fingernails down a chalk board. The stereotype of a stuck up, too good for anything that hasn’t been pooped out of a civet just doesn’t apply to me or many other coffee lovers. I do love coffee, passionately. I do drink special (not Folgers or McDonalds) coffee from places lots of people have never heard of. I do eagerly talk about my love for coffee to others and encourage them to try it as well. So, if you want to compare me to someone then make it the cosplayers who spend hours making costumes, or the Trekkors who learn how to speak a language from a fictional universe. The extent of my passion is no different from theirs.
I’m passionate but I’m not a coffee nazi. Im more of a coffee evangelist. I see it as my mission to spread the good news of good coffee to the world. Why? Because most people just don’t know. A lot of us grew up with jars of instant coffee as our only exposure to coffee. Even now as adults the extent of their coffee maturity is the McCafe menu at McDonalds or the Starbucks special cup size designation. They don’t know that just a few tweaks here and there can remarkably improve what they are drinking. What they are missing is knowledge of something better, not fancier just better.
I haven’t been to many coffee shops outside of Houston and Austin but what I have always encountered is a friendly willingness to talk and teach about coffee.Some coffee people may appear unapproachable but if you actually start talking to them it is just the opposite. Especially in Houston right now that the coffee scene is exploding there are so many that are eager to educate others. Unfortunately, sometimes, our eagerness is what turns people away. They get lost in ratios, micro-lots, or temperatures and just give up and chalk it up to unhealthy obsession and not passion.
So, sometimes it might be better just to make someone a good cup of coffee and say “here, try this.” Instead of getting lost in our words they can get lost in that cup, and once you are lost in a good cup of coffee there really is no turning back. The questions naturally begin to flow as they try to find out how they can repeat the experience they just had. However, in the end if they don’t care or don’t want to listen, that’s ok! That just means there’s more good coffee for the rest of us to drink.