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The world is riddled with coffee snobs. You can find them at your local Olive Garden chastising waitresses for neglecting proper over-ice methods or on Reddit forums manically sharing the strange details of their last over-caffeinated high. You can definitely find them in Seattle, just sort of walking around.
I like to think of myself as a correspondent — here to fill you in on the ins and outs of this peculiar world in which normal, balanced and decently active people fall slave to 12 ounces of liquid cognitive power and transient euphoria.
Today, we’re going to explore a gift I got in the mail a couple days ago. But first, I should give you a little bit of background on why any of this matters.
I have been drinking coffee every day for four years. This may seem ephemeral compared to most high-level Wall Street honchos, but I assure you it has not been an easy run. Sleepless nights, friendships lost, textbooks stained — I’ve experienced it all.
And because of my not-so-accidental expertise, I’m here to bridge a very important gap — the gap between coffee drinkers and those who wouldn’t be caught dead Google searching “Gibraltar.” For those secure in their ways, let this document serve as a completely rational — definitely not emotionally based — explanation of how and why coffee can change your life.
The days are brighter with coffee. Even in sunny San Luis Obispo, coffee makes weekdays more bearable. Argumentative rhetoric busywork somehow becomes visceral. Calculating gas and electric costs is unbearably fun. Shakespeare suddenly becomes your native language, and you find yourself meticulously transcribing annotations and footnotes at 2 a.m. on a Friday night. Coffee parted the Red Sea; it paves the road from Facebook to PolyLearn. College students need coffee the way every angsty teenager needs a Moleskine notebook — it just makes sense. Coffee doesn’t necessarily do the work for you, but it motivates and encourages you to do the work you were probably never going to start. Coffee equals confidence, which all of us could use more of. And while coffee is the best thing in the world, it can also be deadly.
I received one pound of the “strongest” coffee in the world from Amazon (it was a birthday present). According to the website, Death Wish coffee claims to be 200 percent stronger than your “average cup of joe,” curated by a team of researchers who, combined, have more than 70 years of roasting experience and spent most of their lives researching coffee varietals, roast shades and the perfect caffeine content. I was sold.
Some people BMX. Some people bungee-jump out of planes. Others drink a lot of coffee.
I had less than a cup of it, but it reminded me why I love coffee. It makes you feel invincible, eloquent and creative. It also makes your rear tingle. My life’s hope is to try all the coffees in the world and tell you about the embarrassing things I do after consumption.
The coffee was hastily made in a janky French press, but the substance was overwhelming enough to cancel out that fact. The experience that followed was a rebirth. I poured the coffee into the largest plastic cup I had, aerated it into a mug and said a blessing. I took the first sip. I could certainly taste the 660 milligrams of caffeine in the cup — I could taste them with my twitching eye.
I was half expecting to open my mouth and taste purgatory, but it was quite the opposite. It smelled of familiarity and new opportunity. The aroma was strong but pleasant, and it tasted wonderful just drinking it black. But the taste was nothing compared to the aftermath, which took approximately 10 minutes to kick in. The effects lasted for approximately three hours, a time period in which I felt like I had no filter. In retrospect, I think I described the experience as “my mouth moving faster than my brain.”
I was saying anything and everything.
I will work my way up to two cups next week, but I will also keep in mind that 14 cups of Death Wish coffee is supposed to be fatal.
Assuming I am alive next week, this has been Annie Vainshtein, your resident Coffee Snob, passionately reporting on anything and everything coffee.