What does your coffee say about you?
You’re all overstimulated
Coffee is no longer just coffee. Now, coffee signifies something about your identity. It signifies something about your status. What you drink, where you drink it, and the receptacle from which you drink it, holds the key to fixing your identity in the shifting plates of the urban world.
Also you’re still basic if you like spiced anything.
Sure, you’re in your 20s and you are living the funkipolitan dream. You walk into somewhere with a name like the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, or Prufrock, or Shoreditch Grind, and you grab a (tepid) flat white to go. You smoke your Golden Virginia rollie outside on a black metal stool. You’re too busy to drink a latte – though strangely, you have time to sit on a black stool and smoke a rollie. You are too cool for a cappuccino – though strangely, you add a lot of sugar to your flat white.
You like that they are Australian, as Aussie rules coffee is the only coffee you care about. You are furious when someone suggests that New Zealand coffee is better.
This is the iconic 90s coffee. The scented fruity gel pen of drinks. The OG. They used to drink it at Central Perk and there’s an entire Adrian Mole book named The Cappuccino Years. Did you know that in Italy it’s drunk exclusively by children at breakfast time?
You ordered a “coffee”. You are our dad. You will complain.
You don’t really like coffee, but drinking it is habitual. You sip it slowly during the first of many meetings of the day. You laugh it off when you read a short news piece about how many calories are in an average latte. The next day you switch to skimmed milk.
Anything with soy milk
You ask for a soy latte in Pret to go with your posh cheddar and pickle sandwich. Btdubs – cheese isn’t vegan.
You just got back from Interrailing and you’re confused.
You had a big one last night. You are wearing sunglasses and a hoodie.
If you can tell the difference between a Long Black and an Americano in a taste test, you’re something special. You truly belong in the vast hills of Colombia – visiting the farms, sampling the organic beans and selecting only the very finest for an artisan company like Ozone. It’s just an espresso poured into hot water rather than the other way round and you know it.
George Clooney <3 <3 <3
They sell flat whites in Greggs now, so you sought something harder: something richer, darker, more Italian, and other things you read on the side of a packet of coffee beans. You are moved, emotionally, by bean quality.
Everything about your life is off menu, from your vintage warehouse jacket (you cut the label out) to your chicken mayo with no mayo. Any decent barista should know how to make this, you huff, and get offended when someone in the queue behind you tuts that you’re taking a while.
You want a hot chocolate but you’re trying to look sophisticated. You know what? Fair play.
You aim at the purity of being an espresso-drinker, though in reality you must gulp it down with two packets of sugar and it always makes you feel vaguely panicked afterwards. In fact, you are often panicked. You believe in espresso as the drink of productivity, but then forget to do the productive stuff afterwards.
You have a deadline. You will regret this when your stomach twists and turns for hours.
You’re a very intense person. This has come up in conversation with an ex more than once.
Almond milk latte
Saw it on Instagram, thought you’d try it once like one of those rainbow bagels. It’s too sweet. You ruined brunch.
Oh my god, Becky, look at her shoes though?
Everyone just went for a messy Turkish and the waiter just dared you to try a Turkish coffee. You don’t really know what it is – does it have booze in it like Irish coffee? The caffeine means you don’t shut up for the entire journey home. Don’t be that guy.
Single origin filter
Remember this is coffee, not wine. Don’t be that guy.
Chai tea latte
Go back to yoga or eat a block of sugar instead.
Toffee nut/gingerbread/eggnog latte
You gave up coffee for Lent and BOY are you (still) talking about it. Make sure you point out that it’s decaff at every single opportunity and double check with the barrista if you’re ordering out. They’ve been giving you caffeine every morning for the last two weeks. Somewhere, you know this.
Take a long, hard look at yourself, you trembling mess of a man-child.
You’re trying to be healthy and you read something about Matcha from on Instagram, probably Deliciously Ella. It tastes a bit like pond water and you don’t really know what it’s nutritional benefits are, but take a photo and it will rake in the likes if you use #cleaneating.
Art by Bob Palmer.