Snobs come in all shapes and sizes. In the food world you’ll find some of the biggest snobs around, those who only eat the most hand-foraged or urban-farmed, artisanally crafted, truffled morsels. Even worse are the cocktail snobs who deliberate late into the night over proper jigger usage and whose rye whiskey is smaller-batch. (That one distilled under the Williamsburg bridge from grains grown on a rooftop in Greenpoint and cut down to proof using fresh water from the Gowanus is in the running. You know, BQEskey.) But no snob is more outrageously self-righteous than the coffee snob. You want in on this select class of caffeinators? You better have the beans for it.
So, how do you know you’re a true-blue coffee snob?
1. You not only have a regular coffee bar, but a regular barista. He or she knows your usual order, which is whatever happens to be the single-origin special of the day. You have a secret crush on this person and, unbeknownst to them, you both have the same tattoo. It’s an espresso tamper.
2. You’ve attended cuppings. Not just lame-ass beginner “Intro to Cupping 101” deals. But hardcore, extremely rare, get-your-nose-way-down-into-that-microlot-type shit. Varietal cuppings. Cuppings of coffees that retail for $20 per cup and sell at auction for $100 a pound. You’ve used descriptors like “leguminous,” “nippy” and “tastes like Kenya.”
3. You own your own cupping spoon. It’s engraved. You once caught someone eating cereal with it and lost your motherfucking shit.
4. You cringe at the thought of putting milk in brewed coffee. Even more so at the thought of adding sugar. Soy milk is the most abhorrent of any modifier. You find it morally reprehensible. You believe this is what it must mean to be lactose intolerant.
5. You will allow yourself the odd iced coffee, but only as a lark. And only brewed the Japanese way. And only if it comes in a cute, stubby brown bottle.
6. You’re so over latte art.
7. It goes without saying, but you won’t set foot in a Starbucks. Until your fourth day in the suburbs at your in-laws’ place. Then that venti with your misspelt name on it starts to be pretty much all you can think of. You also, ironically, Instagram a photo of the cup.
8. Ever since that time at your in-laws’, you have no qualms traveling with your own coffee supplies. At breakfast, you go right ahead and break out your hand grinder, Aeropress and craft-roasted beans. You know your father-in-law thinks you’re a dick, but it’s totally worth it.
9. You’re kinda over Geisha, too. (Now that Starbucks serves it for $7 a cup.)
10. You talk about Geisha to people without any explanation of what it is, assuming everyone knows it’s a rare and coveted variety of coffee that only princes and bean junkies can afford to drink on a daily basis.
11. Brewing your morning cup requires at least seven different apparatuses, none of which is a coffeemaker. (Cheat sheet: burr grinder, scale, timer, kettle, thermometer, Chemex or other pour-over, reusable gold coffee filter.)
12. You read coffee blogs. Or better yet, write one.
13. You are suspicious of unsubstantiated claims of coffee snobbery. Like, when your neighbor says he’s “really into coffee,” you smile politely and say “that’s nice.” But really you’re thinking, “I bet he doesn’t even drink cortados.”
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