For some, coffee is not merely a beverage: it’s an art form. And like with any art form, coffee snobs are often misunderstood.
To the unenlightened, those who spend $5 on a cup of coffee might seem foolish, a little pretentious or a lot snobby.
But that’s just it: Coffee lovers aren’t snobs at all. Like any passionate fan base—Trekkies, vegans and sports fans to name a few—coffee aficionados are just really, really into what they love. It’s not snobbery that leads them to fuss over their coffee drinks or seek out the best beans; it’s passion.
Here are 12 tell-tale signs you’re a coffee snob. And no, you don’t need a PhD in Coffea or a Golden Bean award to be considered one.
1. You read about coffee
You know its origin, history, reputation, varieties, and the like. You make it your civic duty to spread the goodness of the bean and condemn frappuccinos.
2. You have a regular coffee bar and/or barista…
Within a few days, they remember you and your drink perfectly. You make a connection with them, talk about coffee, have a secret handshake, and form a secret club. With passwords. And a fort.
3. …but you still go out of your way to visit certain cafes
You’ve put coffee on your google alert. You’re curious to find out which places are actually serving the real bean or just passing it off as dirt water.
4. You speak the lingo
You know the difference between Robusta and Arabica. You also know what sets apart an americano, cappuccino, latte, and macchiato from each other. Bonus points if you know what Gesha is.
5. You say no to Starbucks
And other ‘fast-food coffees’. You believe that your palette is too good for that over-processed crap. At some point though, you’ve accepted that Starbucks put you on the path to finding good coffee.
6. You think that putting milk in brewed coffee is wrong on so many levels
It’s not an espresso, and you’re not asking for a cappuccino. If you wanted a cafe au lait, you would’ve said so. You asked for brewed. coffee.
7. You’ll only drink cold coffee if it’s a cold brew
(or the occasional Cà phê sữa đá) Which is NOTHING like an iced coffee. You’ve explained how a cold brew or a cold pressed coffee is steeped in room temperature water for some time. And by some time, you mean 12 hours. At least.
8. You know what a ‘cupping’ is and you’ve been to one
…or maybe even three? You always have a stack of descriptions ready in your head to perfectly describe your coffee’s aroma, taste, and mouthfeel.
9. You travel with your own coffee supplies…
Because god forbid you settle for anything less. Panic ensues when you travel to unknown lands with unknown coffee.
10. …and you keep a special area in your kitchen for all your at-home coffee supplies
This includes your ceramic dripper, Chemex, French press, scale, timer, hand mill, cupping spoon, pouring kettle, and perfect glassware. You probably shouldn’t even call them supplies. In fact, they’re your children now.
11. You brew your morning coffee around the same time it takes to make your breakfast
This one’s a bit tricky for some who are both caffeine addicts and aspiring coffee snobs. Decide if you would rather be 10 minutes late to work or settle for no coffee at all, or even worse, instant coffee. *cringe*
12. And, it goes without saying, you’re suspicious of any unsupported claims on coffee
You demand research, reviews, critiques, and even do some on your own. You don’t take anything that’s half-baked seriously.