Insouciant bon-vivant and erstwhile troubadour prone to verbose verbiage.
Published August 9th 2013
Social rank defined by your coffee
Many moons ago on this website I investigated why a café latte is somehow regarded as less masculine than a flat white. My investigations led me to a seamy underbelly in the coffee world where social rank is decided by the style of coffee one sips. So, at great risk to the author from the Cafia (Café Mafia) I can now reveal Coffismo or the Café Machismo scale by which you, as a coffee drinker, will be judged.
Ristretto +6 Short of snorting wasabi, a ristretto is the most effective way of waking oneself up in the morning. Maeseilles Wallace would describe ristretto drinkers as "hard, pipe hitting culturally in appropriate terms". A café falls silent when a ristretto is ordered and all nervously await the departure of its drinker lest they feel the back of his/her hand. Fortunately given the petite nature of the drink and the high caffeine content they don't tend to hang around for very long.
Short and not sweet
Short Black/Espresso +4 If you listen closely enough after ordering an Espresso you will hear strains of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' hit Red Right Hand. An espresso is slightly more diluted than the ristretto so scores less but still it is likely drinkers of this shortest of blacks would have blue ink tattoos, demonstrating they got their tatts before it was fashionable. The small cup it comes in does make one feel they have been invited to their three year-old daughters tea party with her dollies. It's hard to act tough staring down a Barbie doll.
Long Black +2
This drink is known as the Americano elsewhere as, apparently, American soldiers in the Second World War found the Italian espresso too bitter and thus requested it be watered down. The long black therefore cannot be regarded too highly. I have spoken before of how men love terms like 'big' and 'long' and how they will rush to associate themselves with these phrases. A real man of course would not be so insecure as to feel the need to order a long black.
Longer but lower
The addition of milk reduces the coffismo scale ranking significantly. Though when you think about it - but try not to - milk has protein and thus fosters muscle growth and repair more than any of the three listed above and would actually make the drinker stronger over time. Let's not use logic here though…
Cappuccino /-0 Yes it's the fluffiest of the lot but given the name sounds vaguely like a mafia expression for whacking someone (much like "whacking") a cappuccino just manages to stay in neutral territory.
Flat White /-0 Provided you don't add sugar the flat white will also keep you in neutral territory. Even though I've already established the fact that it's pretty much the same as a café latte, apparently a thinner layer of foam and being placed in a coffee cup somehow makes it slightly more hard core than other offerings.
Café Latte -2 As stated above a little more milk foam and being placed in a glass means this very popular beverage slips down the coffismo scale. If you instead order a milk coffee I'll allow you back into neutral territory. Try explaining to the barrista what a milk coffee is though…
Soy Latte -4 Kind of like an emo is the only kid a goth can beat up, similarly the Soy Latte drinker is the only one a Café Latte drinker can outrank on the Coffismo index.
Soy Chai Latte -6 I don't think I need to justify this.
"Make mine a decaf" will completely emasculate you and send you plummeting to sub-zero levels on the Coffismo Index.
Well there you have it. Choose your caffeinated beverage wisely!
The coffee culture has become a little bit over the top. I don't drink coffee anymore because of all the harmful effects, but I do love the aroma. I just think it doesn't matter what a person's preference to a drink is. I don't think it says that much about a person. I think a lot of very masculine men like sugary, milky drinks - it doesn't make them less manly. It's all about taste - not image! Anyway, thanks for the entertaining read :)