Judging Java: An Ode To Coffee

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

Happy National Coffee Day everyone! This week I’d like to take a minute and, rather than talk about a specific place that may or may not have good coffee, focus on something a little more broad. Today I’d like to talk about coffee. Just coffee. Because coffee is one of the greatest things ever. And if you disagree, then you probably just haven’t had enough cups of coffee.

When I say coffee, I don’t mean just a cup of black coffee. There seems to be a common misconception among people who read this column that I only consider black coffee to be coffee when that is not true. I think that that misconception comes from me usually reviewing black coffee, but I digress.

Coffee is whatever you really want it to be. It can be espresso, it can be decaf, it can be a cappuccino, it can seriously be whatever. I’m not here to gatekeep coffee on National Coffee Day, or really any day of the week.

Coffee is always there for you. First of all, it’s inescapable. While it is a bummer that most of the higher quality coffee shops downtown close in the afternoon, chain stores like Starbucks and Dunkin’ are open later and convenience stores like 7-11 serve coffee 24/7. Globally, coffee is an over one hundred billion-dollar industry. It’s everywhere. And it’s so good.

Coffee comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s a delicious, foaming mochaccino accompanying a Nutella strawberry crepe. Sometimes it’s a cup of dark roast from a Keurig at 7:40 a.m. right before class. Sometimes it’s a chilled iced latte on a warm summer day, right before going on a journey to the Lego store. Sometimes it’s a decaf butterscotch cappuccino with your girlfriend on a crisp fall evening. And sometimes it’s literally just a cup of regular coffee.

Do you know what these all have in common? They’re all coffee. Regardless of your preferred drink, I think that today, on National Coffee Day, we should all come together, and say “hey, I like coffee, do you like coffee?” And if that person says “yes, I like coffee” you can then say “cool.” Consider buying someone a cup of coffee today, or if you’re someone who doesn’t drink coffee, considering trying a nice cup, you might be surprised by how good it is.

Is every cup of coffee going to be great? No, absolutely not. I’ve had some cups of coffee so terrible that it made me question why I drink coffee. But for every cup so terrible that it causes a minor existential crisis, there are thousands of cups of coffee I’ve had that I loved every second of. And for those thousands of cups I’ve loved, there have been millions of cups (I am speaking hyperbolically with these numbers, I have not actually kept track of how many cups of coffee I have drunk in my life) that I have just had and thought “well, that was certainly a cup of coffee.” And at the end of the day, that’s still better than most things.