The Taste of Coffee

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Coffee…you love it, you hate it or remain indifferent to it, but regardless of which, it is the one thing that causes quite a lot of conversation between people; even revealing information about an individual.

If you drink coffee, it becomes a way to bond with a stranger, and the same goes for if you don’t because if you drink tea (or if you don’t drink coffee or tea at all) it allows people to develop a rapport with each other.

It‘s a conversation starter. Many relationships have started because of coffee.

However, what I find interesting about it is how a cup of coffee tastes.

I won’t be speaking about coffee beans or anything remotely to do with the technical process of making coffee, rather the personal meaning of coffee to me.

It seems like an odd thing to write about but I once came across a guy who had a really cool tattoo of the compound elements of coffee, so this doesn’t seem odd.

Growing up while experiencing the various iterations of a lower middle class family, it you shapes your life in different ways that you don’t always know how to articulate.

I recently had a cup of coffee, and the taste of the coffee stood out for me because it was something my palette was not used to.

Ricoffy was the coffee of my childhood. It was the coffee that every one of my family members and family friends had because it was what we could afford. No one knew anything about Espresso or filter coffee.

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It remains the coffee of many lower class and poor families who cannot afford the more expensive coffee. In many ways it is the coffee that most adequately represents the lower/middle class experiences that many South Africans had while growing up.

It was all that we could afford before Frisco – but Frisco was even still a luxury. It was for when we had run out of coffee with guests around, and if it was close to pay day then my family would get it.

Otherwise Ricoffy was coffee I grew up on.

The taste of it was the only taste of coffee my mouth ever knew…until high school where I met my unlikely best friend. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts before, he was the one who first introduced me to filter coffee.

It will always be a stand-out for me, because it was a moment that opened my mind and allowed me see things differently.

I remember everything about the way the coffee tasted because it was soooo different. When all you’ve ever know was instant coffee, filter coffee was this brand new thing.

Years have passed since that day and something that keeps coming back to me is how growing up on instant coffee has forever affected the way coffee tastes to me.

Every time I drink a cup of coffee, it is an experience.

What I find amusing are the coffee snobs too. I remember coming across a tweet a few years back that said something to the effect of, “You say you like coffee but all you’ve ever had is instant coffee…”

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At the time I thought that snobbish type of comments were cool so I liked the tweet.

What stood out for me about the moment was that it was this way for people to make themselves appear better than everyone else. It still happens all the time because you hear it all the time.

While that is all good and fun, it is important to remember that for some people instant coffee is the only coffee they will ever taste… if they even get to afford such a luxury.

Instant coffee is still even a luxury for some people.

Ever since the end of my high school career I’ve had Lattes, Cappuccinos, Espressos and quite a bit of filter coffee.

Interestingly, drinking those types of coffee don’t taste they way coffee tastes to me, and that whenever I have to have anything other than instant Ricoffy it’s almost like I have to remind myself that I do enjoy coffee I am tasting.

Like I’m reminding my middle-class taste that it’s not a bad experience, just different…which is something could be applied to most of life really.

The taste of coffee in some ways could be argued is the taste of our lives.

Isn’t that a thought?

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Theo. Over and Out.

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