Upwards of 150 million Americans drink at least one cup of coffee every day. While that’s stunningly more than half the adult population, too many people drink subpar coffee straight out of a can. If you’re reading this article, you likely take a bit more care when it comes to your coffee, and this is likely something that’s significantly improved your quality of life. Are you becoming a coffee snob, though? If most or all of the following are true for you, you might just have crossed the line into full blown Java elitism.
1: You’re Willing to Spend Over $20 for Less than One Pound
The average cost of a pound of coffee hovered around $6, even with inflation in the spring of 2022. That’s a relatively small price to pay for a hot caffeinated beverage before heading off to work. So, why would anyone consider spending more than four times that amount for less? The answer is: Quality.
To the coffee connoisseur, bulk, canned, and freeze-dried, products are akin to fast food. It can rev up the body with energy at the risk of your health and developing the palate of a hog. If you think paying top dollar for good coffee is worth every penny, welcome to the club.
2: You Know (and care) About the Difference Between Expresso and Espresso
Coffee aficionados deftly know and use technical terms all their own. Only a plebeian would call the delicate warm espresso drink “expresso.” The moment hearing this mispronunciation irks you enough to correct someone, you just might be a coffee snob.
3: A Barista Knows You by Name and Your Preferred Beverage
Much like barflies, coffee drinkers also become regulars. When someone frequents the local watering hole, the bartender gets to know them and their beer, mixed drink, or shot, of choice. A bartender typically knows their limit as well. Frequenting a coffee bar mirrors this phenomenon. The barista will typically greet the coffee enthusiast by name and brew up “the usual.” But if the barista cuts you off or takes away your keys, you are definitely a coffee snob.
4: You’ve Driven More than 25 Miles for a Cup of Coffee
Driving more than 25 miles for a select coffee requires some uncommon calculations. The person must decide the round trip of upwards of 1 hour is worth the time. They have to decide the gasoline or electric car recharging expense is reasonable against the experience.
Given that a cup of even good coffee runs only a few dollars, this process stands outside the ordinary way most people think about time-money usage. If you think driving a fair distance just to have one coffee and then return home makes sense, it’s entirely likely you’re a coffee snob.
5: You’ve Attended a Cupping
For those still aspiring to become coffee snobs, a cupping is an event where people experience new blends, bean types, and discuss the flavors and notes of each brew. Everyday people make dinner reservations to avoid wait times or try an exclusive restaurant. Coffee snobs attend cuppings where elite drinkers gather to share knowledge and integrate beans into a personalized blend.
A cupping typically lasts 2-4 hours, and attendees pay a premium to participate. If you haven’t attended a cupping, it may be the next logical step to evolving into a coffee snob.