How's the free coffee your work puts out? It's free. It's fine. Right? When's the last time you tried dehydrated coffee? Was it actually gross, or did you just make a face to avoid ridicule?
All coffee is boiled roasted bean juice extract. On its own, its flavor falls somewhere on the "bitter and gross" spectrum. Most people throw in a flavorant of some kind to make it taste okay. Still, many people consider themselves connoisseurs, despite the fact that they can't tolerate the stuff without sweetener.
FaceTube is well populated with videos of people doing blind taste tests of coffee and getting their answers sort of right and sort of wrong. A decent one is this one from Facts, an Irish channel whose videos always feature people who are funny, charming, and intolerant of bullshit, which fits with my lifelong stereotype of all people of Ireland. When the day comes that I meet an Irish person that's a pretentious poser, I'll adjust the stereotype.
The most likely truth is that people's appreciation of coffee is directly proportional to how much money they believe was spent on it.
Years ago (like, 18 years ago), when I worked at a cartoon studio, I used to occasionally indulge in International Foods' Fancy Mostly Sugar Blends of Wildly Overpriced Instant Coffe Powder. You know the ones. They come in those little square tins, designed so carefully to look like they were stolen from the breakfast bar of a fine hotel in Cicily? Remembering that (in America, at least), the ingredients on food packaging are listed in order of quantity, it's worth noting that ingredient number one on the list is sugar, followed by creamer, followed by a bunch of other things. Coffee eventually makes an appearance at ingredient number nine. Once I realized that the stuff was mostly sweetener, I moved on to regular coffee with normal sweetener in it.
In defense of Nescafe, their ingredients are coffee. Not horrible if you don't want to make it the old fashioned way, but coffee is so cheap and quickly available for purchase at business every eighteen inches along your daily commute, why would you bother with coffee that's been stomped on by Mr. Wizard to such an extent? I know, this is an example of both the Naturalistic fallacy and the Argument form Ignorance fallacy. There's no real reason instant coffee has to be horrible.
Me? Folgers with a sploosh of milk and half a fake sugar packet. Just enough to dull the bitter so I can get it down. I'm working my way towards being able to drink it black, so I can punish myself for not getting enough sleep. Baby steps, man.
So anyway, the
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