Coffee: What A Difference A Year Makes

I doubt that the Age of Indulgence is truly over. Despite all the media coverage on how even the upper middle class is economizing, I suspect that the AOI is just on holiday.

And yet, a year does make a difference. I periodically stop at a Starbucks in an affluent northern suburb of Chicago on my way to the office. What draws me is that on occasion I have run into people I know. I can get my coffee fix at work for less but the opportunity to see friends is too hard to resist.

A year ago the lines were always long no matter what time I arrived. Staff would be rushing around trying to fill the orders and not make the tony clientele wait. Now they are lucky if the number of customers exceeds that of the staff.

I was further reminded of the change in attitudes when I ran across an article on the Internet about the most expensive coffee maker in the world which at the time of the article had just been installed in a coffee shop in San Francisco. I do not remember how I came across the article but when i first saw it I thought it was recent and intended to write about the exceptions to the austerity mindset.

But this article in the NY Times about the $20,000 Japanese Siphon Bar  was written in January, 2008 when we all still were 401(k) millionaires and credit was easy.  An article on Gizmodo describes the process, “Each “pot” consists of two globes. Water vapor evaporates from the bottom globe into the higher globe to meet the grounds. The coffee is then stirred with a bamboo paddle, removed from the heat and siphoned back to the lower globe (minus grounds).”

I wonder how many cups of coffee are being served from the $20,000 coffee maker. Probably as many as are made from the $100 per pound beans from Indonesia called Kopi Luwak, a coffee that is only roasted after it’s been eaten and excreted by a palm civet (a small cat-like creature).

Sounds yummy.

Siphon Bar

Siphon Bar

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About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

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