Coffee Snobology: Evolution of the Coffee Snob


(an excerpt from: Coffee Snobology)



In the beginning, there was A. Robustus.

 Hominid, Australopithecus Robustus (A.R.) either evolved or was kicked out of the Garden of Eden, depending on one’s philosophy, in South Africa somewhere around two million years ago. Modern day Coffee Snobs owe their own evolution, their prehensile digits, their predisposed disposition to stand above caffeinated mediocrity to A.R. – though some recognition might be given to those knuckle-dragging genetic-dead-end Neanderthals (no relation to the snob), whose tool making skills may have been the predecessor to our species’ ability to open a can. 

(“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have opposable thumbs to make coffee.”            ~ Flash Rosenberg)

Yet it is A.R. who is credited with the snob’s ability to stand up and smell the coffee.                                                                       


One undocumented, undiscernable  day, high up in the midst of the forested mountains, A.R. swung down on his vine, the pads of his feet aiming for the cool, wet jungle floor. Just before landing, an intriguing scent caught his attention.  A.R. lifted his head to find it again, but alas, he was too low to the ground. He rocked back onto his heels, straightened his back, and lead by his nostrils, stood up. He sniffed the damp air, inhaling a strange, new fragrance. Then, historically and without thought, as bipedalism evolved before intelligence, he took his first steps. Putting one lumbering foot in front of the other, A.R. sought out the source of the aroma. In the distance before him, the earth was smoldering beneath a bush that was filled with red berries. The berries roasted in the heat, creating a mouth-watering fragrance. Unfortunately for A.R., he was not a morning person. While he stood dazed in front of the burning bush, he failed to notice an approaching leopard. Hence, the discovery of coffee was impeded by two canine teeth sunk into the skull. Nevertheless, history had been altered. Prehistoric snob was erect.

The next step in the snob’s prehistory is perhaps the most crucial. In the interim, however, enter Homo erectus, the most popular of whom is better known as the missing link: Java Man.  While Java Man was a fine erectus physical specimen and cave dwelling women swooned at his ability to swing a club, he wasn’t the sharpest spear in the stack. So in all anthropological likelihood it was another in the snob’s evolutionary chain that triggered Man’s greatest discovery: the Foodie Snob.

(“I’m not human until my morning coffee reaches my little toe.”    ~Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer)


History is sketchy here. Anthropologists question, what came first: The foodie or the fire? Suffice to say that whichever it was it spawned intellect, which lead to the technology revolution, and Food Network. Java Man all but disappeared, making the way for Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Sapiens, the Homo Know-it- all, Homo Know-it-all  Cro-Magnon (predecessor to the French chef). Yet, if one observes closely in a modern day Laguna Beach café, an erectus descendent is identifiable. Their DNA is linked to the past by a single comma in the order, “Java, Man.”

 With a genetic increase in brain size the Know-it-all, Know-it-alls looked around them and realized they needed a wheel. Why was not yet apparent to them. And while much has been written about the stages of the wheel’s development (rollers, runners, sledge, axis …) to move stuff, less light has been aimed on another need for which the wheel may have been invented. The need to contain liquid.

 After learning they could control fire to cook and manipulate raw materials, they created the ceramic vessel. It was hot by the fire and they needed something to drink. What’s more, wild boar gut left a funny taste on the palate. Meanwhile, the clans were growing due to less energy needed for digestion and more time to procreate. A more efficient method of vessel making was required. Need precedes production: Voila`, the potter’s wheel.

 This is where the genus of two snob classifications intersects: the Wine Snob and the Coffee Snob. (Though we all know who puts the pigeon feather in their chapeau.) Though today, the fact remains that the hand crafted ceramic mug is the vessel of choice for most Coffee Snobs, while the Wine Snobs have shifted to crystal  – draw  your own conclusions.


The single most influential sound in the history of man wasn’t a voice inflection, a guttural grunt indicating a need or pleasure. It was “arf.”  This lead, after the (slow) emergence of language, to one of the first sentences uttered: “Can we have puppy?” No other words have had a greater impact on the rise of civilization, and more importantly, the Coffee Snob, agriculture, and yes, goats. 

(“Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end.”             ~ Max Eastman)

 Domestication of Sapien Sapien’s best friend set off a continuum of lifestyle altering changes that established the coffee snob’s place in history. For the linear thinker it went like this: Nomad + dog > Kaldi the herder x goat = discovery of coffee ^ art + leisure + bra-burning (& hot pants) +internet > coffee break % standards= Homo Sapien Snobien.

Evolution is complete.

 *Disclaimer: Prehistory is a disputable matter of artifacts and perspective, not unlike garage sales and politics.


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3 Responses to “Coffee Snobology: Evolution of the Coffee Snob”

  1. sueleonardCFS Says:

    Very nice blogsite you have here, even from a tea drinkers point of view!

    • coffeesnobology Says:

      You might be a tea snob…If so, here is an interesting site for you:
      Meanwhile, a friend in Steamboat turned me on to a stomach-soothing ginger tea (with honey) by OWL. Next to espresso and vanilla soy milk, it’s a Coffee Snob Groupie’s best friend.
      Jodi 🙂

  2. sueleonardCFS Says:

    Hi Jodi – Thanks for the info and yes, I am a tea lover rather than a coffee affectionado so I did visit the blogsite. I enjoyed it!

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