How bad can it be? It's just coffee

AHHHH coffee. That lactose enhanced caffeinated stimulator of mind and body.

Wake up juice, a warm and fuzzy alternative to hating everybody, every morning, forever. True story.

How I have come to admire and value the skill of a great barista. A ristretto fix can make, break or save your day.

Select blends, grinds and roasts.

Cold filtered iced coffee, 'The dirty hippy' (a chai with a shot of coffee in it), the breve, cortandito and more varieties of the milky hot stuff than an ignorant lover of simple coffee, such as myself, could ever imagine.

"It's just coffee, not rocket science," I hear you say. So why is it so easily and often made wrong?

I recently had a caffe-tastrophie in a moment of need.

My regular coffee shop had just closed - damn you grinders of the coffee bean with an excellent work-life balance.

So I did it. I used the drive-through. "Oh heavens to betsy, you did what?" you say.

Well, I didn't think it would be that bad really.

Not to belittle the skill of the qualified barista, but how bad could it be, it's just coffee?

Well folks, bad enough to warrant getting out of the car and dragging the kids into the cafe and politely asking the poor barista to "Please try again, not to be rude but this is skim weak and just ... bad coffee".

I did question my expectations, like hello, it's drive-through coffee.

Well (I told myself), I expected that for the same amount as a cup of great coffee I would get a cup of decent coffee.

Much to my relief and also the relief of the poor barista, my second cup of coffee was an improvement on the first.

So, it was great to get into my beloved regular baristas today and breathe in that ground roasted bean smell, laugh, and take in that whole great coffee experience that precedes a cup of great coffee.

No, it's not rocket science, but it's definitely a science.

This column is featured in APN's Weekend Magazine. Don't miss your weekend lift-out each Saturday.

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