Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A.-based food writer is my new best friend, and no, it's not because he once used my photo of San Francisco's finest xiao long bao to illustrate his near-viral piece On the Great San Gabriel Dumpling Assault. It's because of a more recent piece, written for Sunset Magazine, on the 10 Worst Food Trends.
As nearly anyone who's been within earshot of me for the last few years knows, I flat-out loathe the product of the Great Hipstafarian Cultural Revolution (GHCR) known as "Third-wave coffee." I've been drinking coffee for nearly 60 years, and developed my palate for coffee in the real hearth of west coast coffee culture, North Beach. North Beach is where coffee really tastes like coffee, where coffee roasters like Graffeo, Trieste and Roma really know how to roast coffee, and espresso drinks are really made by people fresh off the boat from a place where "barista" is a real word. You will never get the thin, sour otter water humorously called coffee in the latest trendy SOMA or Park Slope joint.
The GHCR's cultural suasion is pervasive and front-runners are many in contemporary San Francisco, and I had started to feel like my protestations against the state of coffee culture were cries in the wilderness. Then, some divine hand pointed to these words in the aforementioned Sunset article by the wise Mr. Gold:
9. Third-wave coffee: Do we applaud fair-trade, sustainable farmed, shade-grown joe? Sure. Why not? But when we sit down to a cup of coffee in the morning, we are not particularly interested in the blueberry, caramel, or tomato soup nuances a dedicated roaster can coax out of a bean, nor in the intricate ballet of the four-minute pour-over or the Eva Solo flagon. We want coffee that tastes like coffee, and we want it now.
Right on, bro!