I'm going to tread into dangerous waters here and talk about one of the most controversial taboo subjects in the realm of 3rd and 4th wave coffee (aka pretentious coffee). What am I talking about? Blended drinks.. ,
Blended drinks AKA frappuccinos AKA frappes AKA ice caps, are possibly the most hotly debated menu item that exists in the specialty coffee world.
Why is it controversial? Because blended drinks are evil! Didn't you know?!
Try this. Go visit your local aficionados 3rd or 4th wave coffee elite shop. Ask for an iced latte, which is espresso and cold milk poured over ice cubes. Now take a step back just out of the clubbing range of the portafilter, and ask the barista to blend it. Get ready to duck and wait for the reaction.If it's a typical 3rd/4th wave cafe they will respond to you with a degree of verbal or physical violence and say something to you like “why would you ruin our sublime creation that is blessed by the Gods from another galaxy and ask us to spin it around at 15000 RPMs. I will not watch it be crushed by ice and hardened steel blades. Where were you born, who raised you?!”
Okay maybe that is a slight exaggeration.
The basic barista premise is “Why would you ask?” and why does the barista have such a drastic reaction? The simple answer is this; somebody influential said a long time ago and we're still not sure who that somebody is, but everyone quotes this somebody. The somebody who said frappes or blended drinks are evil. That's all! And now there's this unspoken rule as an artist and 3rd-4th-wave barista if you dare serve blended drinks, then you're off the cool hip person island.
Peer Pressure and Coffee
Now there's a problem with this type of thinking. Think back to when you were a pimply teenager trying your hardest to fit into society trying to look and act mature even though your brain wasn't fully formed. One of the first things you did was Delta Phi-ed yourself into trying to drink coffee.
Now for those of you that are answering "no no no I was trying to get drunk", yeah you, please just sit down. We all know the truth and that most of us tried to grow up by learning how to drink coffee. Our first taste of coffee was oh my God who drinks the worst cup of poison ever had. Then proceeded to douse it with as much sugar and cream as we possibly get our hands on. Luckily for generations of teenagers Starbucks made popular the Frappuccino.
If you don’t know, the Frappuccino is coffee, ice plus copious amounts of sugar and dairy products blended into a smooth slurpee-like hyper sweet drink of our childhood. So in other words it's the perfect entry-level drink for the new coffee drinker.
For whatever reason be it philosophically or something else, 3rd-4th wave independent cafes are opposed to serving the entry-level drink that young teenagers want. Instead the pimply teenagers will go where they can get the coffee drink they like and independent cafes miss the opportunity to convert them to quality fresh coffee prepared the proper way. In-turn the teenager never gets exposed to the 3rd-4th wave independant cafe brands. And this new coffee drinking teenager is converted to Starbucks-like places drinking stale dark bitter burnt coffee … Bye Bye!
So my answer is get off your high horse, put a blender in your coffee shop and when someone asks for a frappuccino smile and give them what they want because they're going to pay you between $4 and $6 almost 20 times a month. If somehow your coffee puritanical ways can’t handle this, then yeah, go ahead and shoo those teenagers away like old man McGregor, and be the coffee curmudgeon that you are. Get off my lawn!
MORE ON THE COVID SURVIVAL COFFEE GUIDE
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Chapter 2: Now that you understand freshness as it pertains to coffee beans (3-14 days from its BIRTH DATE or Roast date, and only buy enough to last a week) . This will give us a good starting point because we finally have some quality ingredients...Learn More >
Chapter 3: Ok.. you managed to escape the matrix and now that you have acquired the supplies needed to take on the coffee universe on your own, we are here to offer you some help!
4 Tools Needed to Brew Coffee At Home... Read More >
Chapter 4: If you have Italian friends, and they offer you a "caffe" , chances are they pull out a stove top device that unscrews in four parts, (base, top pouring chamber or pitcher, basket and basket cover) called a Moka Pot...Learn More >
Chapter 5: I have a personal problem with pour over people because they tend to hold the opinion that pour overs like Hario v60, Chemex, Kalita, are great, but that batch brew Drip Coffee Makers suck. The reality is...Read More >
Chapter 6: Let's explore further why the proponents of Cold Brew coffee are so maniacal in their support of this process. 4 reasons: ... Learn More >
Chapter 7: Frankly this viral hype surprises most of us in the industry but, in my opinion, it is a good thing that people are seeking innovation when it comes to coffee beverages. I just wish it didn’t involve instant coffee! ... Learn More >
Chapter 8: Prior to the cold brew fad, the go-to method of making a cold coffee was to utilize the alien👽 technology known as ice.
Apparently, when you add ice to things, they get colder...Learn More >
Chapter 9: If you survive this chapter, you will have my respect, and moreover, you will have learned about the basic principles of extraction...Learn More >
Chapter 10:We are revisiting a brewing device that was long ago dismissed as an alternative for espresso. Of course I'm talking about the Aeropress. Full admission. I was an anti Aeropress-er (not anymore). For those of you not familiar with the Aeropress way of making coffee it's a strange looking plastic device that looks like a giant syringe...Learn More >
Chapter 11: I'm going to tread into dangerous waters here and talk about one of the most controversial taboo subjects in the realm of 3rd and 4th wave coffee (aka pretentious coffee). What am I talking about? Blended drinks.. , AKA frappuccinos...Learn More >
Chapter 12:There is a false belief marketed that you need to spend a lot of money on specialized equipment in order to make good coffee and latte art. This insidious belief implies you need to...Learn More >
Chapter 13:The easiest way to avoid cream and sugar in your coffee is to buy higher quality coffee, you will taste that it is naturally sweet as opposed to the dark burnt, bitter stuff from chain stores, so try out a local independent coffee shop...Learn More >
Post Pandemic:Luckily, in the past the coffee industry has proven itself relatively recession-proof. Big question is, if it is pandemic proof ?...Learn More >