So the other day I was walking to work when I decided that I would get myself a coffee.
Despite a few necessary slips, I’ve recently quit coffee. On this particular day I was feeling tired enough to warrant having one, so having one is what I did.
I found a coffee place whilst walking to work, ordered my coffee (large latte).
There were a number of coffees that were ordered before mine, so there was a bit of a wait. Still, the barista seemed to feel no pressure and, not feeling any pressure, or desire to be efficient, casually and slowly got through each and every coffee that was there. Gingerly stirring milk and looking like not a care in the world, each coffee was made to order. It took time, it was inefficient, but at least the barista was able to relax and do the job.
My coffee was made, I took it, left and after a few seconds of walking, I had my first sip.
There was a strong hint of water, and some milk notes. In fact, it was fair to say that most of the composition was hot water and some milk. Hot enough to almost burn my hand through the cup.
There was a really subtle coffee taste that came through more in the aftertaste than it did in the “coffee” itself.
Overall, not a bad coffee. Other than the fact that is was poorly made and disappointing, it was not bad.
Maybe I’m spoiled, but when I was living in my last place I lived very close to a café. The coffee was consistently good. The barista was fast and knew what they were doing. Not that it matters, but they were also engaging.
This recent coffee from a café I’d never been to before was significantly inferior. I have a theory:
The slower the barista, the greater the likelihood of the coffee being worse.
I don’t have enough data to test this theory properly and I have to accept that not all slow baristas will produce a bad coffee. I also have to accept that there are a number of factors that can go into a coffee coming out subpar.
I do not have faith in a barista that is very clearly intentionally taking their time, especially when there is a line of coffees. I don’t trust their ability, technique or expertise. I don’t care if they work in a café that is designed to look “boutique” and “upmarket, yet down-to-earth”. There is an art to making coffee and part of that comes to maximising efficiency without compromising quality.
This barista minimised efficiency and compromised quality.
Or maybe they’re consistently a bad barista. I don’t know. I don’t care to find out. I’d rather go elsewhere.