To Bean Or Not To Bean

Gourmet coffee is now outselling real coffee.

In English, this means that what I call “Foo Foo” coffee is outselling Folgers and other normal coffee brands.

This is a travesty that begs the question – As a country, how did we let this happen?

According to a March 28 article in The Washington Post, a lot of the reason for the shift from Folgers to Foo Foo has to do with young people buying their coffee on the go, while us older folks are still plugging in the percolator before we leave the house.

One of the most sacred rites of the morning (a regular cup of coffee) has migrated from a manly beverage that, if made correctly, could also substitute for motor oil in a Buick, to a weak-kneed concoction with names like, “Unicorn Frappuccino.”

I don’t know about you, but sipping a cup of Joe that’s named after a horse with a horn sticking out of his forehead isn’t my idea of the best part of waking up.

Coffee used to be simple. You plugged in the Coffeematic and waited for the glass top in the lid to stop perking.

Or if you were dining out for breakfast, ordering a cup was short and to the point.

Waitress: “How do you take your coffee, sir?

Me: “Black.”


Barista: “Hello, welcome to MegaBucks. My name is Biff and I’ll be serving you today. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I’ll have a Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip.”

Barista: “So, you’ll have the number 3?”

Mrs. Olson is turning over in her grave.

This brings to mind the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles. The cowboys are sitting around drinking campfire coffee and eating beans. Slim Pickens’ reaction to the cowboys’ behavior seems to fit my feelings toward Unicorn coffee.

I have no idea why some folks feel the need to make coffee so complicated. But they not only have, they seem to enjoy the complexity.

Maybe it’s a way to be as completely different from their parents as possible. When I was a kid, I grew my hair long like The Beatles. I guess that ordering coffee in four languages at the same time is a modern form of rebellion.

But even when my hair gave Cher’s a run for its money, my coffee was just regular old Folgers. I may have been a rebel, but I wasn’t a unicorn coffee rebel.

These days, every morning I get up about 4 and plug in our 1960 Coffeematic percolator. It’s one of the few things in the house that’s older than me.

I don’t care for drip coffee makers. I never have. They require paper filters, which makes the coffee taste funny and adds an extra cost to making your java.

Young people think they invented the concept of being green and recycling.

Percolators were and still are green. There’s no paper filter required and the grounds are great for composting in the garden. We also used to recycle Coke bottles – but I digress.

Back to the Foo Foo.

I’m not interested in an Iced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte, or a Grande Chai Tea Latte, 3 Pump, Skim Milk, Lite Water, No Foam, Extra Hot.

I’ll always take a strong cup of Coffeematic Folgers. It’s basic, it’s affordable, and by golly, it’s American.

The world went and got far too complicated when it comes to coffee. But it’s not too late to stop the madness.

We can keep our coffee choices simple. And we can do it together. Who’s with me? Let’s do it.

Black, with no unicorn.


©2019 John Moore

John’s book, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now, and his new book, Write of Passage Volume II, are available on Amazon and on John’s website at


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