The Rise of Fake Good Coffee – The Awl

It’strue,asOliverStrandwrites,thatthecoffeescenehasneverbeenbetterinNewYork? —? orLosAngelesorSanFranciscoorPortlandorbasicallyanywhere? —? thanitisr

It’strue,asOliverStrandwrites,thatthecoffeescenehasneverbeenbetterinNewYork?

—?

orLosAngelesorSanFranciscoorPortlandorbasicallyanywhere?

—?

thanitisrightnow。

There’smoresuperbcoffeeandmoreofit:fromBudin’ssinglestorefrontinGreenpointservingexquisiteTimWendelboe,whichoftentastesmoreofteathancoffee(forfivedollarsacupbecauseshippingfromNorwayislike,expensiveman)totheroughlysixhundedJoelocationsdottingManhattan。

Lessdiscussed,however,istheconcurrentriseofcoffeeshopsthattradeinthesignsof“goodcoffee”*butinfactservehotsewage。

Thesecafesofferasmallsmorgasbordofbeansfromavarietyofplacesaroundtheworld,perhapswithanintricatelyconstructedoriginstoryandaslightlyoverexposed,super-contrastyphotoofthefarmerwhogrewthemtackedtoaboardonthewall;thecoffeewasroastedlocally;theypourswirlylatteart;theydopourovers;thebaristashavetattoosorbeardsorboth;acappuccinocostsfourdollars。

Butthecoffeetasteslikedirtorweirdlyvegetalbecauseswan-neckkettlesandartsymilkfoamdon’tactuallymakeanythingtastegood。

(Butdamndon’ttheylookgood?

)I’llevennamesomenames:BrooklynRoastingCompanyandRoastingPlantandKonditoriareterrible。

Locallyroasted?

Sure!

Wellroasted?

Nope!

Thisisnotatalltoimpugnbodegaordinercoffee,whichistotallygreatbecauseitusuallydeliversexactlywhatitpromises。

Butthesesimulacraofgoodcoffeeshops,ontheotherhand,promise?

—?

andchargefor!

—?

somuchmore。

Unfortunately,thebestwaytosortthemuckfromthecoffee?

—?

unlessyouareacoffeeasshole(hi)andnoticethingslikehowcleantheykeepthebarortheshadeofthebeans?

—?

istodrinkit。

Andthenifitsucks,tohituptheStarbucksaroundthecornerbecausethatwhitemochasyrupisdelicious。

*”Goodcoffee”hereisjustshorthandforacertainkindofshopthatmightbefoundonalistlikethis;youshoulddrinkWHATEVERcoffeeyoulikeHOWEVERyoupreferit,althoughartificialcreameristotallyvileandK-Cupsareruiningtheplanetbutotherwisesipandletsip?

etc。

PhotobyJeremy?


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