Rosetta Roastery and the Coffee Nazis

Old thoughts in a prettier format.


Where Purism ends and Fascism begins.

Having engaged with customers at a recent function we catered, we were surprised to see how offended some folk were that we allowed our coffee to be consumed with sugar.

We caused quite a stir.

So vehement were the responses to our welcoming of the sucrose-dependent that we felt it necessary to publish something explaining our position on coffee, milk, sugar, democracy, Nazis, and world peace.

Why do we do it?

At the most basic level, we do what we do because we get great joy from the taste of high quality freshly roasted coffee.
When you strip away all the snobbery and elitism clogging up the specialty coffee industry, the driving force behind it all is really just the desire to make something that tastes incredible. We weren’t drawn to coffee out of a lust to build ourselves into a position of authority; to develop influence to the point where we could tell people how to behave in their own homes. And it was certainly never to publicly patronise or humiliate someone for adding sugar to their coffee.

An interjection:

At this point I’d like to add that none of the Rosetta team add sugar to their coffee. Not because we hate sugar, but rather because (1) we hate to waste sugar, and (2) we hate to waste coffee. In our view, mixing the two unnecessarily is a needless waste of both. Global food shortages are bad enough without us adding to the problem.

Handicap or travesty?

Disguising the flavours of our coffees’ unique profiles with sugar is a marginal shame. It’s not a travesty. If sugar is the thing that enables you to enjoy coffee, then so be it. Do whatever it is that you gotta do. Just don’t let the god-complex-wielding social pygmy behind the coffee counter tell you what you can or can’t add to your coffee; be it sugar, milk, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, or those little mothballs you sometimes find in urinals.

Yeah, we’ll take two here at the back. No milk. No sugar.

One thing that is a mystery to us is how some folk keep submitting themselves to negative social pressure and scrutiny from narrow-minded coffee snobs on a daily basis. Less self-confident of coffee drinkers will wince their way through an espresso to avoid the abuse that comes from their self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur associates berrating them for adding milk or sugar. But what these “connoisseurs” have failed to recognise is that just like the easily intimidated coffee drinker is a slave to the judgy coffee snobs, so the snob is a slave to the bean – unable to conceive of a world where coffee can be served and enjoyed in whatever fashion the master of his own cup desires it.

A question to ponder:

Why does the World Barista Championships have a Signature Drink section if adding stuff to coffee is a crime? Contestants (made up exclusively of the world’s finest national barista champions) will add anything from syrups to tobacco to chocolate to panna cotta to large chunks of orange peel. From where I’m standing, the guy who wants to add a few grains of cane sugar can go right ahead!

“Add sugar one more time and me be smited if I don’t pelt you with my spare teeth!”

Life’s a journey not a roadblock

As mentioned before, at Rosetta Roastery, we love coffee. We also love people. It’s not to much of a leap to think therefore, that our job satisfaction will lie in helping people love coffee. We feel that any coffee connoisseur should have a similar goal; using his powers of discernment for good and not evil. A coffee connoisseur should be encouraging peers to join him or her on their adventure down the coffee rabbit hole, rather than stopping them in their tracks until they submit to their lordship.

At Rosetta, we understand that not everyone has developed a taste for coffee a capella. If I’m honest, I insist on adding salt every time I cook rice. I’m sure some folk a little further east of us are appalled by the fact that I pollute rice with salt!

All we ask of our customers is that they’re willing to embark on a journey with us; that they’re willing to try new things, and explore new possibilities. And all you need to bring along is an open mind and a few shekels for coffee.

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