Time for a little rant. For as long as I can remember, people have been sending me links to coffee news stories. They know me as the publisher of INeedCoffee and they believe they’ve stumbled upon some coffee news item that has escaped my radar. The vast majority of the time, I’m not only already aware of the news item, but it is something I could care less about.
For this article, I’ve decided to list the five coffee news stories that I NEVER want to read about ever again. Here goes.
#1 Coffee Health Cheerleading Stories
I plan on doing a full article on this topic, but for now I’ll keep it brief. I drink coffee, because I like the taste. It often makes me feel great and I enjoy the social aspect. If there are positive health benefits, that doesn’t impact my behavior. I will still drink coffee.
We all have unique responses to coffee and caffeine. Those responses vary wildly from person to person. Those responses change over time. We are all unique. Sharing links to some study that a majority of individuals in some group achieved a minor health benefit from consuming coffee is meaningless to a group ALREADY consuming coffee.
Please don’t send me any stories that glamorize the health benefits of coffee. I won’t read them, because they do nothing to improve my health. Remember, we are already drinking coffee. The only people that might benefit from these stories are people who love and can tolerate coffee, but have stopped drinking it for fear it was damaging their health. That isn’t us though.
#2 Animals Pooping Coffee
Stop sending me links to stories about the latest animal that they have tricked into eating and pooping out coffee. Civet cats or birds or elephants or monkeys. I don’t care. It is old news. INeedCoffee has already published a few articles on animals pooping coffee. Some as old as 2006.
#3 Anything Starbucks is Up To
At the time of this writing, the Starbucks Corporation is worth $40 Billion (USD). Even though they are massively wealthy, they have figured out a way to get millions of dollars in free marketing. Every month or so they send out a press release about something they are up to and lazy reporters everywhere rearrange the words and publish it as “news”. Meanwhile, small independent coffee businesses with no marketing budgets that are doing far more innovative stuff with coffee can barely get a mention in their neighborhood blog.
The latest Starbucks “news” story several people have sent me is about some $7 cup of coffee. Boring. In 2008, independent coffee shops were charging between $9 and $15 for a cup of Panama Esmeralda. Yeah, that is where independent coffee was four years ago. They were seeking out the highest quality microlots and paying top dollar for those beans. Only for them, it wasn’t a marketing gimmick. Their mission was to push the envelope in coffee quality and it is something they continue to do.
My first Clover Coffee was at Seattle’s Trabant Coffee in May of 2007. This was a full year before Starbucks purchased the company and even longer before they began deploying them into stores.
Please don’t send me any news item related to Starbucks*. When I look back at my coffee education, I consider them middle school at best. The reason INeedCoffee exists is to empower coffee drinkers to make better coffee at home. There are tutorials on this site that will teach you how to brew and roast coffee that is superior to anything Starbucks is capable of doing.
* This also extends to Tully’s, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds or any other publicly traded corporation that sells coffee.
#4 Automated Single Coffee Brewers
When did coffee become so difficult to make that we needed to fill our counters and break rooms with stale pod based coffee brewers? Is making coffee really that hard or messy? May I never receive another email that mentions Keurig, Senseo or whatever the latest mediocre pod based coffee maker happens to be. These machines are the enemy of good coffee. They promote the belief that making a cup of coffee is hard and messy. It isn’t.
#5 Any Coffee News Item Featured on the Homepage of Major News Outlets
We live in a hyper connected world. By the time a coffee news item hits the front page of major news outlets, there is more than a decent chance I have seen it or will soon. Recently NPR did a coffee story. Within a few days, about 7 people sent me links to the story. I think it was about some animal pooping out coffee (see #2). Before you share any news item to anyone, give them a little credit and assume they aren’t living under a rock. The best news items will always be the ones that are way under the radar. A fresh angle on coffee that hasn’t been reprinted everywhere will always be more interesting than headline coffee news.
OK. Rant over. I feel better now.
In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to two hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 600 coffee enthusiants. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.
Unrelated to coffee, Michael has a personal blog at CriticalMAS.com which covers several topics including fitness, cooking and finance.