What I'm arping about is relatively simple -- the acquisition of correct taste.
Coffee that has been hand picked and sorted, well prepped, transported fast, and roasted by somebody who cares is better
than a collection of branches, stones, unripe and rotten cherries, that are triaged, steamed, roasted, packed, and left to go stale on an assembly line. If you don't think it tastes better
, your taste is incorrect in a very objective sense, you are not tasting the reality of the two coffees.
Here's the argument in a nutshell:
- That taste is subjective would come as a very big and very lethal surprise to just about any organism, including us for most of our history, that relies on it to distinguish what will nourish from what will kill.
- We no longer need taste to keep us alive. So we can harness the same ability to discern the chemical content of what we ingest and put it to some other use, one more playful and interesting.
- For instance, we could use it to distinguish foods that take skill, effort and creativity from those that merely increase shareholder value.
- If we do this, taste remains objective. Instead of distinguishing poison from food, it distinguishes quality, i.e., the rarity, skill, effort, etc, that go into foodstuffs, from trash.
It's obvious that taste is a perfectly objective sense, like all the others, albeit out of a job in the modern affluent part of the world. So why are people so misinformed? That's easy to understand too. It's the only way advertisers can persuade people that the crap which merely increases shareholder equity actually tastes good.
Mass produced food is cheaper than high grade food, and most of us have to eat much of it for budgetary reasons, We can pick and choose only a few areas where we go gourmet. So there's a temptation to delude ourselves, "It's all subjective, so if I pretend long enough that this stuff tastes right, it really will taste right."
But there's no need. The taste of, for instance, a TV dinner is rapidly acquiring the same relation to the foods in it as the picture on the TV has to the monitor -- none at all: the taste is more and more imposed by additives and processing just as the picture is imposed by the broadcast. So enjoy these foods as high tech, even occasionally highly skillful, simulations of actual taste, just as you enjoy the TV as high tech simulations of actual vision. There is neither a need to believe the simulation itself is real, nor that the reality underlying it doesn't exist.
I'm always surprised that the clarity and simplicity of this approach doesn't at least appeal to the engineering types. Instead of blathering about subjectivity, one could talk about what tastes are the hallmark of great coffees and how to get them as clearly as possible.