For those who exist in the corporeal world, coffee helps their existence stay intact1. After all, without this very brown beverage, the ephemeral axiom of human life could become an even more conscious experience which a lot of people would surely prefer not to perceive. So we get lines and lines of these people who devour the ground up beans, they will impatiently demand their coffees; some act gallantly toward this lifestyle, seeking only a strong blend to help with their day, others shall taste each texture and tasting note of this bean water and grow red in the face at the prospect, or even worse, the unmistakable taste of a deliciously blueberry Kenyan that has been over-extracted by a heinous single second of extraction time, their day completely ruined by the bitterness. Who pays for this pain you ask? It is the humble barista, those girls and boys who have no choice but to carry the weight of these kilograms of coffee under their tired shoulders with the hope of earning their rent money, whilst being dictated how to evenly tamp those 18g (±0.1) of pulped dirt. The negligent customer sees this not, nay, instead they are blind, and their only perception of the world is through the taste and smell of a bean roasted to a crisp. When blind people do not see, they can only enjoy as they are dictated to not put milk into their v60 filters, and live a life of blissful ignorance.
I once knew a beautiful man (let us call him Beau for now). He was untainted by the atrocity of third wave coffee because he only drank decaf, yet still enjoyed visiting cafés due to their fine interiors and a space he could use to write philosophy. He stopped going to them recently, and I asked him: ‘Why? Oh why Beautiful Beau did you stop going to these very fine spaces?’ And he told me exactly why: He said that they were unbearable to work in. They’re too loud he said, especially the smaller artisan ones: It starts with the bashing of the portafilter2 to rid the spent pucks, and for those who are unaware of why this is so loud, it becomes part of the experienced barista’s feeling of power, as for them, it is like the hammering of the building blocks of the Third Wave, growing evermore powerful. It is then that the grinding3(4) of the beans begins. Those ceramic burrs tearing apart those poor little dried up beans. You can hear them scream. Next time you’re at your favourite café, listen out for it; it’s hideous. And loud. You would honestly do better eating the beans yourself5. So it has come to the point in which the café, the renowned refuge for the humble writer has now become a hostile environment where ideas come to be ground with those poor beans and die: the daily grind; the dance of death. Perhaps a long-winded example, but when you open your eye to coffee, your ears can also open up, filling the senses with the hideous truth of brown sludge we queue up to drink.
And for I you ask, the writer himself, well he lived a life full of the joy of coffee until his life was grinded into the burr of actuality, and he himself fell victim to the hideous world of third wave coffee. He is joined by those others, those others who never wanted to weigh each ground of coffee to pay their rent. We are all modern alchemists, attempting to make gold from the brown bean: from gold to brown to the darkness of rent. Now our lives are run by coffee itself, and the caffeine is filtered out, leaving tired husks; taste buds burnt, and arms broken by the RSI of tamping to building a better tasting world.
1 A key example of this being the explosion of tote bags and mugs making bold statements such as ‘Life begins after coffee’.
2 And remember, you only want VTS Baskets, as I was once told that if you don’t have one of these, you might as well never make coffee again.
• freshly ground portion grinding
• no loss of aroma or coffee
• electronically controlled (timer)
• variable programming
• single and double shot preselection
• grinding time approx. 2 seconds for a single
espresso of 7 gram
• shot counter
• grinder starts automatically when inserting the
• hands-free operation
• parallel operation of both grinders
• stepless grind adjustment
• electronic shot counters
• fan for each grinder
• software menu in five languages
• alarm signaling and saving
• PIN-protected software for settings and service
• modular build-up
• illuminated operating display
• different colours and branding on request
• space-saving approx. 30% compared to two
• easy cleaning
• separate hoppers of 750 g each
• static tamper
4 Noisy, isn’t it
5Caffé Nero do some good beans, and they even cover them in chocolate for some extra sweetness.