March 4, 2008

So for whatever reason, we have one of these at the roastery. Lavazza B.L.U.E. stands for “Best Lavazza Ultimate Espresso!” Or “Lavazza! Proudly lowering the bar!” You can have an espresso, a lemon tea, or a consomme (which I’m told is chicken stock. Who knew?). Tim says the tea tastes like Schneider’s (you know, the kind that comes in a big cardboard container), but the consomme tastes like Kazansky’s matzoh ball soup. Without the matzoh.

I made myself a nice little macchiato.

Well, by macchiato, I mean “steamed milk” with “espresso” And by “nice”, I mean the first sip was palatable, mostly because there was a bunch of hot milk in it. The second sip? Well…it went here.

So I’m just going to say a very little bit about convenience. The way this particular machine works is by putting a little capsule of ground or dehydrated coffee/related product into the machine, the top is punctured, and then you get espresso (or tea-drink, or chicken stock, as the case may be). Great for those who don’t have the time to be bothered with good things. The thing is, an espresso takes about a minute to make and serve. Maybe two minutes from ordering. A cappucino might take two and a half minutes, which is not very much time. So there’s all this money being made by selling people shit things they have no need for. This is not news. Since the decline of the American production economy, there has been a glut of unnecessary product dumped onto the market. Why? In order for capitalism to survive, the economy must always grow; this means that market expansion ventures into realms of created needs, which don’t do much of anything for anybody except make them feel like these supposed needs are finally met when they buy a product or service. I found this book helpful in formulating this particular opinion.

Why all the convenience? I think it’s a complex nexus of marketing, rampant economic speculation, the search for the easy dollar, the false security of money, the glorification of the self and probably a thousand other factors that I won’t really get into right now because I’m at work and not in school.

So I would like to encourage people, coffee professionals included, to take care with your craft and explain (emphasize?) why your beverage is not ready in twenty seconds and does not come from a capsule.