There was a time when coffee was just coffee.
Something to give you that small lift to get your day going in the morning. The all-important caffeine hit was the objective. If it tasted good that was great, but this paled into insignificance compared to the heart starting boost from that most seductive of drugs that you really did need to ensure a successful day.
Whether you were a fan of the drip filtered blend, which seemed to sit for hours on the counters of diners in every second US movie or the apparently more sophisticated cappuccino, featured in sexy European film noir, it was still just coffee.
Well, how things have changed, and not necessarily for the better.
Today coffee has become a fashion accessory. It still probably doesn’t matter how it tastes, or whether it has any coffee or caffeine in it, but it just needs to look fabulous in your social media posts!
I need only mention one coffee to illustrate this point – I present the Dalgona Coffee!
According to Google Trends, Dalgona Coffee has become the most searched coffee item in the world. For those people who have either been under a rock, or don’t use Facebook, TikTok or Instagram, the Dalgona Coffee fad has been dominating social media feeds for much of the year. What is it? Simplistically, it is made by whipping equal proportions of instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until it becomes creamy and then adding it to milk (cold or hot). But that is just the start. If you are really bored go to your favourite social media stream and type #dalgonacoffee, and for the next hour or two, be amazed by the different takes on the concoction and how much time people must have on their hands!
And what does it taste like? Yes, you guessed it – who cares…as long as it looks fab on your posts! Many blame the Covid-19 lock-down for this trend – I blame…well, everyone! Why? Just Why?
Of course, Dalgona coffee might be the current favourite fashion accessory, but probably not the first, so this got me thinking about other bizarre coffee options that pollute the planet.
The Blue Latte
This is a blend of ginger, lemon, coconut milk, agave and blue algae powder pioneered at Melbourne’s Matcha Mylkbar – oh and you guessed it, no coffee…
The Matt Black Latte
New York’s Round K Café bring you the Matt Black Latte. A strange combination of cacao powder, almond milk and espresso with organic coconut ash to provide that trademark look. I guess we should be grateful that it actually has coffee in it…
Cascara is what happens when people get carried away with eliminating waste or by trying to squeeze every single cent out of a product, you decide… Cascara is the Spanish word for ‘skin’ and refers to the outer layer of the coffee berry which is usually discarded. The Cascara is sun-dried and brewed like tea, so technically probably not coffee and with only around a quarter of the caffeine of coffee, why not just drink tea?
Monkey Spit Coffee
Probably a little less famous than the similarly disgusting idea of Kopi Luwak, coffee made via Civet poo, Monkey Spit coffee is from Taiwan where, you guessed it, Monkey’s (Formosan Rock Macaque’s more precisely) eat the coffee cherries and spit out the beans. The chewed beans are fairly painstakingly collected then dried and roasted like regular coffee beans. In these times of cross species virus contamination (think Covid-19) I will be steering clear for a while…
There are plenty more strange coffee options, so if you have a favourite or have come across another noteworthy coffee, let us know and we can feature in a future post.
About the Author
Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net