As you enjoy your first taste of morning coffee, you wonder when the exact moment came when you decided you wanted to truly enjoy the experience of coffee rather than merely drinking it to wake up. You love the aroma of the beans, the process of preparing your morning cup, and the anticipation of your first taste of your brew. You begin to eschew the chain coffee shops for the independent coffee bars near home and work, read blogs about coffee to learn more about it, and when you describe your coffee experiences, others treat you as though you are speaking a foreign language. You have begun to wonder if you are becoming a… coffee snob.
Yes, it sounds like you are well on your way and there’s no need to apologize. You have made a choice to learn how to make your daily coffee better so you can savor the experience more. Learning the secrets to making great coffee is an interesting journey and very adaptable to your individual taste preferences. Here are five signs you are becoming a coffee snob and why that is a good thing to be. In addition, they will help you identify other “coffee people” to whom you can relate.
1. You Only Drink Fresh Coffee
You appreciate coffee beans and know they must be treated correctly to allow them to release their optimum savory flavor. You prefer your coffee to be fresh roasted, fresh ground, and fresh brewed in order to release all the flavor the beans have bound up in their oils.
“Starting the day as it was meant to be, with an @extractcoffee flat white @25AOldMarket.” – @BrianCoffeeSpot, brian-coffee-spot.com
You no longer grind your beans in the grocery store or ever (shudder!) buy pre-ground coffee at all. You grind your beans each morning then brew your coffee fresh immediately afterward. This is one of the first steps towards coffee snobbery.
2. You’ve Invested in Coffee Making Apparatus
Now admit it. As you have gotten rid of your auto drip machine and your Keurig, you have replaced them with many other objects that have made your coffee making station resemble a small chemistry lab. You know coarse grinds extract flavor slower and finer grounds extract flavor faster. You’re also learning that small adjustments can make a big difference in your coffee’s flavor. So you purchased a scale for measuring the amount of coffee you brew and may have other equipment on hand like a hand mill, ceramic dripper, a French press, a Chemex, an Aeropress, a pouring kettle and a timer.
You even have travel equipment for when you are out of town. If you are really hard-core, you have a cupping spoon. These are all tools of the coffee snob’s passion.
If you’re just getting started in your coffee snobbery, check out our blog post, 7 Steps To Getting Started Brewing Coffee At Home.
3. You Know Your Beans
Where coffee beans come from inform the flavor, you will obtain from them for your coffee. You are learning the difference between an Arabica and a Robusta, and even the difference between a Gesha and Geisha. You now ask your barista questions like “Where were the beans grown?” and “At what altitude?” You support local roasters and know what a single source bean is. You recognize the taste of coffee can reveal details about the beans’ harvesting and processing. Beans from different continents have different tastes.
As your expertise grows, you may begin to notice the chocolaty, sweet and buttery taste of Central American coffee; the medium-bodied sweet taste of South American; the heavy, fruity and tea-like flavor of African coffee; and the dark and smoky taste of Asian. You may have joined a coffee club to try new roasts and expand your palate.
You might also enjoy reading, The Quest for The Perfect Coffee Beans, blog post.
4. You Read and Talk about Coffee
At your local coffee bars and through online chat rooms you engage in conversations about your new favorite topic – coffee. Discussions range from the farms, the roasters and the beans to favorite baristas and new coffee bars to try. You may follow Coffee Geek on Twitter, listen to podcasts @ sprudge or reddit.com/r/coffee/ for tidbits. Perhaps a subscription to a magazine like BeanScene, Roast, Barista, Caffeine or others has made its way to your mailbox. You may regularly visit blogs like Jimseven and Pure Coffee Blog.
“Very happy with my Ethiopian pourover at the @curveroasters pop-up brew bar at @napelondon, #Camberwell. Lovely, relaxed spot & great coffee” -@doublemacbex, doubleskinnymacchiato.com
Words enter your vocabulary that non-coffee snob friends don’t recognize. Hence, you actually are speaking a foreign language of sorts.
5. You Slurp Your Coffee
Miss Manners wouldn’t approve, but your coffee snob friends understand. You have embraced slurping. How else can you fully and appropriately taste coffee than by spreading it all the way across your tongue? This spreads the warm brew to all areas of your palate. You can savor which areas of your tongue tingle from the coffee’s acidity, or notice its sweetness, or detect a smoky flavor. So slurp away.
This Is A Good Thing
If you now recognize that you are becoming or have become a coffee snob, you should also recognize this is a good thing. A coffee snob is just a snarky name for a true coffee connoisseur.
“Too much coffee is never a bad thing. #thecoffeerecipe #tcr #specialtycoffee #coffee #coffeetime” – @thecoffeerecipe, thecoffeerecipe.com
And what is a connoisseur but an expert judge in matters of taste… a true coffee lover.