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Legit Coffee

The quest for enlightenment through coffee.

NathanLong ago, by which I mean when I was in junior high and high school, we had a word for people who listened to bands like The Pixies because they thought they were cool: Poser. (Never mind the spelling.)

The concept of the poser and the idea that doing the cool thing could be uncool came to mind just now when I checked in with the excellent LA Times blog Overrated/Underrated. You see, they declared the recent pour-over coffee craze overrated. They question the increasing cost of coffee made in this fashion, in which a barista carefully pours 200-degree water directly over coffee grounds, and they imply that it doesn’t actually take that much skill to do it well.

If they’re right about the skill — I sense they’re not, though I’ve never done an experiment — they may be right about the cost. Regardless, I think they’re not up front about the real issue: posers, and the fact that we don’t like them.

Consider Intelligentsia Coffee in the happenin’ Abbot-Kinney neighborhood in Los Angeles. The place is populated by people dressed like they’re in an Arcade Fire cover band — suspenders, muted colors, tattoos, lots of those cute wing tips that seem popular in certain circles. It’s easy to feel intimidated, but it’s also easy to feel, well, cool. Thus, by drinking pour-over and extolling its virtues, you too can seem cool.

But can you taste the difference? And if not, aren’t you just another poser who thinks Candlebox was good? That’s what I suspect the Overrated/Underrated folks were really thinking about when they declared pour-over — forgive me — so over.

Now, me? I can taste the difference — given the right coffee and the right water temperature and so on. And I think you can too, but I’ll side just a bit with O/U. It is the thing the cool kids are doing right now, and that does mean that some people are doing it just because it’s cool. That doesn’t mean it’s over, any more than fixies, Arcade Fire, or craft beer.

Here’s the Overrated/Underrated blog (which you should check out).

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