(Pictured - Fairhaven Baristas Chuck & Joe - "We Make The Coffee Rules")
Is it rude when visiting someone’s home, specifically a close friend or family member, that you bring a bag of your favorite coffee with you and present it as a gift? I mean, whether you present it as a gift or just hand the bag of coffee to them unwrapped accompanied by the phrase, “Here, this is for later.”, isn’t blatantly obvious that you are telling your host their coffee is not good enough and their brand is below par, you want to show them what the good stuff tastes like, or simply that you don’t trust them to brew your black gold beverage for your consumption? No matter what, is it kind of a slap in the face?
Recently I had a short weekend visit with my immediate family members, specifically my mother and two of my adult sisters and their families. I did not spend the evenings in a hotel, but opted to stay at my one sister’s home in their guest bedroom. She knew I was a coffee drinker; everyone in my family is. So each morning, she would make us breakfast and brew our coffee in her run-of-the-mill electric drip coffee maker with ground coffee beans purchased at one of those bulk box chain store outlets. I dutifully drank every drop and secretly vowed to hit the nearest coffee house I could find once I was out and about.
Now seriously, I’m not at all saying her brewed coffee offering tasted bad or was hideous. In my opinion though, her coffee and THE entire experience could have been so much better! I wanted to keep my mouth shut and bury my thoughts with the old saying, “Oh well…to each his or her own.” BUT…with her knowing I’m a professionally trained Booskerdoo Barista, she HAD to ask me if the coffee was good. And of course I had to open my mouth and offer up my suggestions on how to do a better more satisfying job. I also told her about my home coffee brewing routine and how, with a couple of extra minutes and just a tad bit more effort, she could really easily turn her average daily cup of coffee into something much more satisfying.
Well, she simply listened and smiled at me and replied saying, “Your way of making coffee is much too inconvenient and requires too much time and attention. It’s not worth it. Mine tastes fine and I really just need the caffeine to wake myself up in the morning.” I was perplexed. I mean, why consume something every day, perhaps multiple times per day that’s just “fine” when there are so many other options afforded to one who’s a coffee drinker. Her whole ritual seemed pointless to me. But then all of a sudden my thoughts went from analyzing my sister and turned inward to a darker place. WAIT A MINUTE…Have I become one of those…COFFEE SNOBS?!?!?!
That afternoon, while chillin’ at a local coffee house (LOL!), I read the blog post on Sprudge.com entitled “13 Signs You Are A Coffee Snob”. Out of the 13 signs I’m probably about ½ of them…(again LOL!). I lost it on the two that stated, “A coffee snob has their own Barista they frequent daily.” and “You may be a coffee snob if you read coffee blogs.” Uh Oh! Really! I am one and I write for one! But would I be considered a coffee snob or more of a hobbiest? I mean, people have their “thing” they like to do and mine is drink coffee. If you’re going to drink the stuff why not take the time and make the effort to brew it the best way possible…right?
So herein lies my dilemma; still unresolved. If one is a coffee enthusiast, hobbiest, or a snob, is it an insult to friends and family if you carry your coffee brewing toys with you when you leave your own home? What are the choices…stay quiet and suffer peacefully or offer to make the coffee for your host? Yeah….the espresso Gods are telling me…I’m a snob.