A little sugar is enough (but not in the coffee)

Everything is based on this, from a question we asked ourselves and from an increasingly clear trend, especially in the big cities. Why should we pay 1.50 euros or more for coffee at the bar? The price of coffee is set on the stock exchange, but that does not mean that it is fair: from special roasting to barespresso, there are many questions to ask for a more responsible consumption. We talked about it during a series of live shows and we tried to understand why a fairer price could radically change this sector, which is still a bit explored in Italy, where we are proud to do well but where the coffee culture is really poor. But follows a thread on Twitter the question we asked ourselves has been expanded: why, as always happens when a topic becomes fashionable, the sector’s nerds’ become uncompromising. The point is this: if I pay for the coffee, then you are the one who sells it to me at a higher price than the average and who has probably studied for a long time to offer me the best selection, and make me the most correct extraction and to serve it on the right way cup and at the right temperature, do you have the right to stop me from drinking it with sugar? From the comments on Twitter, this does not seem to be the case, as the prevailing attitude is “I want, pay, demand”, but let’s try to go beyond the position and think abstractly.

Can I water a Sassicaia since I paid for it? Yes, but the manufacturer can ask me to give up, given how much effort, how much work and how much energy it took to make it so good? But above all: does it make sense that you – even pay for it – ruin a perfect product? Reverse the discussion: does the customer have the culture required to understand certain proposals? You probably need the right customer for every place and the right place for every customer. If you want sweetened roasted coffee, do not go for the pussy roastery. If you want to discover a well-extracted and well-served coffee with an origin, look for your favorite nerd in town.

And then we make it an “organoleptic” question. Because – as our guru Gianni Tratzi teaches – if a coffee is of the latest harvest, freshly roasted and extracted and served well, it probably has a natural sweetness as if it already had a little sugar. If the bitterness is very widespread, it is not a matter of personal taste, but it is as if a wine was overly vinegar-like. In short: is it not the case that we put sugar in it because we drink bad coffee or poorly extracted coffee on average?

Instead, talk to our passionate, cultured barista friends who know how to choose and offer high-quality products: can you explain the features of your coffee better? Do you make us understand why you have chosen not to give us sugar without introducing it as a dictation that makes us feel inadequate troglodyte? Are you helping us to enter the world of the initiates? Probably with a smaller top-down strategy and with a little … more sweetness, you would help us improve as coffee drinkers and convince us more reluctantly to eliminate sugar from your favorite drink. Let it Bet?

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