Let’s face it, none of us really know good coffee. Sure, we can have it served in a short glass, boasting a delicate swan gliding through a caramel river on its foamy top layer. We will have 3 sips until the swan melts into the swampy aftertaste of dregs and consider it 5 bucks well spent. No regrets about that coffee whatsoever. I’ve put my money into other people’s pockets, straight from my own. I consumed just like I do all day, every day. I bought into all of the “oh my god, you have to try this coffee” crap.
There is something especially comforting about sitting down for a coffee in Melbourne. The Barista’s make a fuss over you, and you are treated as if you are in some sort of high-class restaurant, some places may give you a complimentary chocolate or biscuit. You feel settled, at home in the Coffee capital of Australia. Even if you get one to take away, you still get to march purposefully alongside 1000’s of other caffeine junkies. It just feels, nice.
The only problem with such a routine of coffee buying and pretentiousness is that after a while, it starts to burn a hole in your pocket. Two coffees a day at $5 = $70 a week, that’s $280 a month. Not to mention all those little extras; the caramel shortcake giving you the eye from the display cabinet.
Like all things, rumination is easy. Continue to ignore the problem, because there is no obvious solution, right? No way can I sacrifice my morning coffee, it transforms me from a lazy person into a semi-productive one. But what if there was a solution?
No longer am I blind, no longer am I afraid to speak out. As I was casually checking out one of the thousands of 7-11 stores (seriously, they’re more recurring than PI in Melbourne), I noticed a little coffee machine out of the corner of my eye. 1$? Well, that seems more than reasonable, I thought. They even had the chocolate sprinkler set down beside it. I gambled, I went for it.
I looked around cautiously, waiting anxiously for a sneer or judgemental remark from one of Melbourne’s finest coffee snobs.
Let me tell you now that I love coffee. Let me also tell you, that in the past I have professed to people that “I seriously can’t get by without my morning coffee”. I’ve even recommended places on the basis that I have just tried the “best coffee in town”. But as I closed my eyes and took a hefty swig of that 7-11 coffee, the veil was lifted. The truth was clear to see. I experienced an epiphany on a par with discovering the $5 dominoes pizza deal; with discovering the presence of vibes whilst taking my first pill at a festival.
It tasted exactly the same. In fact, it possibly tasted better. And there was definitely more coffee than I get in those tiny, polished pathetic sized excuses for a cup that I get at most cafes. I felt that I had been lied too, cheated out of hundreds of dollars worth of coffee.
However, I do realise that maybe my taste buds just pale in comparison to those of a seasoned coffee drinker. And of course, you’re paying for the experience in a café, blah blah blah. Personally, I can no longer be bothered to mull over whether I should get a flat white or a latte. Why? Because they both taste exactly the same.