Thursday, November 08, 2007

Strong Feelings About Weak Coffee

Coffee Cup
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
In the wake of the coffee craze that has swept this country starting with its origins in Seattle (thanks to Starbucks), one would think that finding a good cup of strong coffee would be an automatic thing by now. Well, it isn't.

In a recent 900-mile-trip to Sunburst, Montana and back, I searched again for that elusive strong cup of coffee that might be found beyond the congested metropolitan communities and their perfectly-decorated, Martha Stewart, wi-fi, ain't-I-cool coffee houses (i.e., Starbucks and its many clones). I was sadly disappointed.

It's not like I'm a total coffee snob either. A little picky to be sure, but I'll settle for a strong cup of Folgers any day over a weak cup of gourmet-roasted brew.

All I can say is that the rural mini-mart/gas stations need to twig on when it comes to making a decent pot of coffee that doesn't rival dishwater that's about to be thrown out with only a hint of coffee flavor. Maverick stores seem to have it solved the problem, but they're not quite as numerous as the Conoco or Exxon mini-mart/gas stations scattered across Wyoming and Montana.

I'm guilty of taking on a cup of coffee in those places that are closer to home while never bothering to express my disappointment over a given low-grade cup that was served. I'm unsure which is sadder—to hurt someone's feelings because you weren't impressed with the coffee they served you or to have your feelings hurt because someone told you they didn't like your coffee. So, like everyone else, I just don't return or I'll order something else the next time I stop by. I suspect there are those out there that simply condition themselves to drink bad coffee as well. We're all guilty of that now and then—conditioning ourselves to drink or eat something that we know deep down is inferior; Bud Light and Cool Whip comes to mind.

I know it's not polite to tell someone that they just served you a crappy cup of coffee, but isn't it a bigger sin to give them the impression that their coffee is decent as they continue to serve others with the same terrible swill? Meanwhile everyone (you and I included) talks behind their back about how terrible their coffee is?

Man, it's just coffee!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anything worth having is worth waiting for. Your comments suggest that we as Americans prefer "instant" gratifications over a slow-brewed sense of gratification. I concur. The quality required for most pallets in this country can be summed up in that which is freezdried, powdered, over boiled and shrunkwrap. I say we bring back the concept of slow food to all facets of the service industry. Those who wish to cling to their quick pot pies and just add water drinks will be a bit frustrated, but so be it.
Frank Quarters