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The Coffee Snob - An Unorthodox Guide

We’ve all heard the term “Coffee Snob”. You may even know one of these grating figures who screws up their nose when you suggest an outing to a cafe that is only 95/100 on their scale.

This guide will teach you the core philosophies of a Coffee Snob (although you’ll find them as common as a Pidgey) and will teach you how to imitate them in the correct manner if you need to blend in (pun intended). After all, we are all moving towards the zone of coffee snobbery whether we like it or not….


We should start by outlining what a coffee snob is: someone who will only expect a certain type, standard or quality of coffee and if those criteria aren’t met, they are unhappy. I’d say this is a fairly rudimentary description but an apt one.


To properly recognise them in the wild we must expand upon the habits and personalities of Coffee Snobs. Watch out for the following:


  • Only drink coffee at personally pre-approved speciality cafes

  • Their world shatters at the sound of screaming milk

  • They know origins, altitudes and coffee farms off by heart

  • They actively choose coffee based upon bean varietal

  • If coffee is served above 55C it’s thrown away

  • Coffee with cows milk should be fed… well… to the cows

  • Bring their own coffee in a little flask to farm shops rather than drink there


So, for full transparency, my wife would probably tell you I am one of the above… But apart from being a bad thing, is it really a bad thing? Maybe it’s bad to strive for quality and hunt down the darn right delicious!


The view of the many is that the coffee snob is a bad thing. Demanding such greatness from people who frankly probably couldn’t give a shot (you know what I meant). The issue the coffee snob has is that they have tasted greatness. People who are in the industry or who are just avid drinkers will have tasted that one cup of coffee, the game changer and thereafter life can become a constant pursuit to find an equal. Chasing the so-called dragon… This can obviously carry through to every single coffee you drink. Hence the snob is born.


For example, visiting a service station and being served a cup of dishwater and being surprised and disappointed by this, surely this can’t be a fair reaction. Unfortunately, when regularly drinking fabulous coffee, it almost always highlights the bad ones. This is hardwired into the coffee snob.


I guess if I’m being honest, I probably am a coffee snob. But wait - listen to this reasoning: So right now, I work at Unorthodox. In the town of Kinross you can buy coffees in almost every establishment in town, even the corner shop with a Costa machine. And every single coffee is about the same price. So for that same price you would surely rather a super high quality coffee, which is purchased directly from the farmer and roasted perfectly in the very town you are in. It seems there is an obvious answer.


But now we get to the core problem of Coffee Snobbery - they like to be right. If it wasn’t for this part, it might be okay saying “I am indeed a Coffee Snob”! Until being right about coffee is reduced from a social crime to just being a part of society then Coffee Snobs will always be persecuted. A true story from Unorthodox’s past is when a coffee snob berated one of our baristas while ordering a Long Black and brought her close to tears. This is the true problem end of Coffee Snobbery.


And thus let’s move on to the real fun part of this blog:


How to fake it as a coffee snob (with ease!)


  • When you are in a cafe, take a small sip of your coffee and exclaim loudly “Oh my! The boozy natural flavours really do cut through the milk!”

  • Ask the Snob what they think about the production of the Topazio varietal in this year’s Brazil harvest

  • Tell a Snob that Rasuna is the actual real name of the Indonesian Longberry

  • Carry a coffee grinder around with you at all times

  • Take an Aeropress into the office and spend 35 minutes brewing a coffee at lunchtime

  • Say you won’t go to the best coffee roaster in town because the bean development is 6% less than you like

  • Start frying green coffee beans at home

  • Say you looooooooove a decaf Nescafe….

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Foster West
Foster West
Nov 29, 2023

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