Archive for the ‘Coffee Snob Archetypes’ Category

Coffee Celebrations all Year-Long

October 11, 2012

For coffee lovers, enjoying a cuppa at a charming coffeehouse is always a day of celebration.  We never need an excuse to drink coffee.  Nevertheless, we at Coffeesnobology offer you a yearlong list of coffee observances all over the world.

Coming soon…November 24:  National Espresso Day

December 26…Coffee Percolator Day.  Thank James H. Nason and check out Coffeesnobology archives, December 25, 2010.

Begin the New Year by celebrating National Irish Irish_Coffee Week.  Check Coffeesnobology archives in January 25, 2011 for a recipe.

And January 25 is National Irish Coffee Day (that’s just how good Irish Coffee is)

February 17…National Café Au Lait Day.  Pronounced Kafe o le, means coffee with milk in French.

April 7…National Coffee Cake Day (try a coffee cake recipe, Coffeesnobology Achieves, June 2, 2011)

May 16 is National Coffee Day

May 24 is National Coffee Day in Brazil.  Brazil is a coffee giant.

Week of July 22…a whole week is set aside to celebrate coffee.

July 26…National Coffee Milkshake Day

August, all month long is National Coffee Month

September 6 is National Coffee Ice-Cream DaySeptember 12 is National Coffee Day is Costa Rica

September 19 is National Coffee Day in Ireland

September 29 is yet another day set aside for National Coffee Day

October 1 is the Japanese National Coffee Day.  Surprising, Japan is one of the largest coffee consumer in the world.


Coffee Fact Friday: Third-Wave Coffee Surging

March 29, 2012

Around the nation, sophisticated coffee drinkers are willing to switch from something pretty good to utterly sublime.  Discerning Coffee lovers consider coffee as artisanal foodstuff and are willing to pay.  No compromises.

Coffee as a global agricultural commodity was the first wave.  Coffee consumption is big business.  American coffee drinkers lead the world in coffee consumption by drinking 400 million cups every day.   We love our coffee.

In the late 1970s the groundswell of Starbucks Coffee shops swept in the second wave.  The thirst for rich coffee evolved into a new generation of independent coffee shop owners dedicated to serving exquisite elixirs.

Cream of the crop third-wave coffee shops owners are committed to establishing stronger relations between growers, traders and roasters of single-origin coffee beans.  Competition-level baristas pull shots to order demonstrating meticulous techniques.

At first just a ripple, but today independent third-wave cafes are an undulating force.  In Minneapolis and Saint Paul, we coffee snobs can savor third-wave coffee at Kopplin’s, Angry Cat Fish, Blue Ox, Quixotic, Spyhouse, Urban Bean Peace Coffee and Bull Run.

The caffeinated buzz heard among coffee enthusiasts “I’ am coffee snob, hear me brew.”


Coffee Snob Archetypes

September 29, 2010


Are you in denial about your coffee snobbery, or have snob envy, or like to hang around coffee snobs and their environs? Maybe you don’t have an alter-ego or a mask, but boldly admit you are a coffee snob right up front, deflecting any attempts by naive non-snobs to serve you inferior fare.  

     You are not alone. The world is full of millions of coffee snobs, drinking billions of cups of coffee…just how they like it. Herein lies the caffeinated epiphany: there is more than one kind of snob.  And this is where you ask yourself the same question fifteen-year-olds have been asking themselves for years: Where do I fit in?

        The key is in figuring out your coffee snob archetype. Archetypes are not just for comic books, superheroes and villains (And neither are black boots with gold lame` bikini shorts, for that matter. The red tights, however, are something else. Even if you can fly, have X-Ray vision, and harbor the power to leap over tall buildings or the neighbor’s Labradoodle, you might want to consider keeping the skin-sucking, primary color apparel under the bed in the “Just for Special Occasions” box).

“Avenger, get Birdman coffee!” 

    ~Hanna-Barbera, Birdman, Cartoon Network


And while each of us might not be able to pull off a wardrobe that reflects high concept personas, our types are reflected in our day-to-day choices, including leisure activities and what goes on the household bookshelves. Even favorite clichés and sayings that reflect ideals help to define us – “There’s no place like home,” “May the Force be with you,” “It’s sometimes difficult to think clearly when you’re strapped to a printing press.” 

     Our immersion in the coffee culture may be public or private or take place in the Bat Cave. Passions range from iced to steaming hot (talking coffee here, people; eyes on the text). Our proficiency, our experience with the phenom that is java may be likened to dog-paddling in the backyard above ground pool with plastic water wings, on up to swimming the English channel pulling a boat (for your barista to ride in, of course). The commonality is a love of coffee. The diversion is how much.  

I’m hooked so bad, I drink a couple of cups before I go to bed just to make it through all those boring dreams.”-   Stephen Colbert


You will in all likelihood fall into one of four archetypes: Groupie, Wannabe, Closet, GrandeIn no way are these personas meant to pigeonhole you into a loss of individuality or personal significance. Leave that to human cloning. Neither does aligning yourself with a particular epitome fully express your unique perspectives. Leave that to tattoos and bumper stickers. The following ascending kingdom archetypes are benchmarks. And, naturally, each has a subsequent snob division, class, order, family, and genus not currently available – mostly because of the coffee snob’s rapid rate of evolution.  Identifying with one or more archetypes is merely a starting point. Feel free to create your own subclass.     


Coffee Snob Groupies don’t necessarily stalk baristas or throw panties at the espresso machine. They’re one of many enthusiastic fans of the Coffee Culture Club who hold a torch – match, lighter, cell phone, if you will – for the lifestyle. They frequent quaint neighborhood shops seduced by the trendy interior design, the out-of-the-mainstream music, and the savory breakfast burritos. Mostly, they only inhale. But every once in a while the ubiquitous scent tempts them to partake in consumption: a chai tea latte here, an organic decaf cappuccino there. Coffee Snob Groupies don’t, however, have the stomach of a roadie. Neither are they one of the bands of regulars touring coffee shops around the world. They celebrate being part of the scene, with or without underwear. 

Coffee Snob Wannabes aspire to coffee-snob status.  Always striving to be a connoisseur, they gather at trendy cafes, glance quickly at the board before ordering a skinny latte, “no flavors please,” dust off their chair, and then wait in anticipation.  (Admit it wannabes, while standing in line, you study the tips on how to brew the perfect cup and ponder the various roasts.)  As one eager to learn, they know the difference between barista and barrister and can pronounce Macchiato (but without an accent).  Although they purchase the best ground coffee, use cold, lively-running tap water, and precisely measure the grounds for their morning Joe, the whirr of a coffee grinder is never heard in their kitchen.   A Coffee Snob Wannabe asks, “To grind or not to grind?”  A true Coffee Snob asks, “To blade or to burr?”  It is only when surrounded by authentic Coffee Snobs with their repertoire of all things coffee, do Wannabes recognize their naiveté. Undaunted, they know there’s always tomorrow, always another café.


Closet Coffee Snobs act like they don’t care if the beans are freshly ground but secretly, under layers of denial, they wonder.  When offered a cup of coffee they say, “Sure, thanks,” but want to ask what kind it is.  If they are pushed to answer why they remain in the closet they would have to admit that although they hate pretentiousness, they are pretentious about their coffee, and they are just a little embarrassed by it. Closet snobs don’t want to offend anyone so they will hide their discerning palate or the jargon to articulate what they like.  The truth is they know what they like and they want it. It isn’t easy being a Closet Snob, but every discriminate sip is worth it – just don’t mention it to anyone. 

Grande! Coffee Snobs offer no apologies. No compromises. No settling for less than your loftiest expectations. Your nose is held high with nostrils flared, stimulated by satisfaction. You’ve climbed up through the clouds and mist to the tallest mountain and seen the light. You shout from the summit of snobbery: I am coffee snob, hear me brew. Below you the monkeys swing from the trees in admiration of your elevated status. You look down, knowingly. You understand the evolution of the seed once nestled inside the fruit, the cherry, as you, too, have evolved your seed of wisdom. You are one with the bean.

Coffee Snob of the Month

August 9, 2010


The Making of a Coffee Snob Groupie

March 23, 2010

Confession: I drink Nescafe` with almond milk and raw sugar.

Confession: I have a plate fetish.

Confession: It took me three tries to spell cappuccino correctly.

How could these admissions define me as a coffee snob? I can barely handle diluted orange juice in the morning. Not so long ago I thought that burr means cold not grind. Plus, coffee makes me sweat…does that mean it counts as exercise?

Then a couple of years ago, I took a once in a lifetime trip to Italy and was forever changed.

We stayed in Rome and Venice, but spent most of the time in Citta` di Castello, Umbria.  A stone wall encircled the town and the Fiume Tevere ran along the outside to the west, with the hills of Tuscany rising beyond. While walking throughout the cobblestone streets at night, I could almost hear the clip-clop of horses ridden by the Roman soldiers who used to frequent the region. 

During the day, we brought glass jugs from the villa over to a store that was like a filling station for wine, where they poured the local fare – red or white – from a hose. It was wonderful table wine ( and I do admit I am somewhat of a wine snob.)

Around 4:00, tables outside the Piazza Matteotti filled with exotic-looking people drinking espresso (No, no! Never cappuccino after lunch) and chatting in a flowing foreign language. It was charming. I was seduced. What’s more, I needed a shot of energy to get me through the next several hours until dinner at Chef Luigi’s Il Feudo  (which would last nearly five hours).

I ordered one. It agreed with me.   It was a java baptism.

(Note: I’ve always loved the smell of coffee. Coffee in states, however, didn’t love me. But in Italy, the coffee was different. I don’t know why and have heard different theories suggesting heat or steam or brew time – I welcome insights on this…)

Back home, I bought Made-In-Germany espresso cups at an antique shop in Clearwater, Minnesota because I liked the color. I intended to make “visual espresso” via chocolate mousse, but have expanded to “Espresso Sundays” with the help of an aluminum, stove top espresso pot and a glass milk frother. It’s good. It’s a kick. And it’s compatible with the rest of me.

I still, however, approach coffee shops with caution. Typical questions include: Is it organic? How do you make your cappuccino? What kind of scone is that?

Snobology is a process. For now, I am content to hang around the band of coffee snob archetypes that take center stage. They are the culture’s icons. I know my limitations. So in the groupie tradition of Garth from Wayne’s World, I say: I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy… Rock on Coffee Snobs. (Good, but the espresso pots are on many sites. Prices range from $10 to $100.)