Coffee is a religion. The manner in which you grind beans, the type of beans you grind, and your method of grinding are doctrinal precepts by which coffee adherents live and die. In my workplace you will find multiple denominations, all of which neither play well together nor lend deference to each other’s respective ‘Javaisms.’ The coffee grinding passions run so high in our office, that a recent all-employee e-mail thread consisting of 20 caffeinated messages distracted the entire staff for a whole day. It all started with a guy who is obviously passionate about his “Grinding Doctrine”:

Hey all,

Warning! Coffee snobbery is forthcoming!!!

I know that some among us enjoy… (wince) flavored coffee (big wince). I would like to begin by saying that I am sorry for you about that. Ok, now that the snob is out in the open, I need to plead with you.

Please please please please please please please please don’t put flavored coffee in the new grinders. There are blade grinders available for such things. When flavored coffee goes through a grinder it makes all coffee that follows it for a couple of weeks mildly flavored. If there’s anything more nasty than flavored coffee, it is flavored-by-association coffee. Please, I beg you to choose abstinence. Unless you’re an executive writing corporately to deny my plea, please respond only to me with hate mail or praise (names withheld to prevent collaborative acts of sedition and coffeecide in your office).

So the next message comes from a monarchical vice-president who obviously does not share a distaste for flavored beans:

From one of our many coffee vendors (read below) each bag will have a unique flavor for all coffee snobs (wince). So the grinder would keep the multiple flavors that each bag provides. I say, ‘Yea.’ Do we procure multiple grinders? I say, ‘Nay.’

See Utopian Coffee Company’s “Reserve.” On the aroma, look for cedar & syrupy fruit. In the cup, anticipate mild spice, pipe tobacco, and a blueberry finish. Originally designed as an espresso, the ‘Reserve’ delivers a complex demitasse: cherry, cedar, cinnamon, & milk chocolate.

I say we embrace fairness and allow all (not just the coffee snobs (wince) 🙂 the blessing. It’s no great fortune to enjoy the new coffee setup, grinder, pour over, ect…

In the words of the great Dr. Seuss “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

Or in this case, for all, I say, the kitchen is a shared environment and to be used by all.

Consider the multiple flavors in your cup of coffee a blessing and surprise.

Adherents of all the different walks of coffee idolatry posted messages message after message, ad naseam. Unflavored adherents (segregationists) argued that using one grinder for flavored and unflavored beans is blasphemy. Others believe that the fraternization of beans is just fine. Javagnostics and secularists (those whose lips shall never touch coffee), and even the Tea Drinkers chimed in. I posted a limerick, which fed the flames of this Java conflict. As you will see in “Coffee Bean Limerick,” I am an orthodox believer. I’m proud to be an upstanding member of the church of RUB (Reformed Unflavored Beans).

In the end, the Puritans Flavorians both won the day: we now provide two grinders: one for flavored beans and one for unflavored. And here is “Coffee Bean Limerick,” which lives and breathes for our eternal cause:

 Twas a big coffee grind argument

O’r flavors for workers enjoyment

Then the law was laid down,

The poor snobs lost their crown,

Buttered Rum, Chocolate defilement!

 Links for the coffee Puritan:

Coffeedoxy and Heterodoxy

“Adulteration of Coffee,” from Plantation to Cup: A Brief History of Coffee Production and Consumpton, by Francis Beatty Thurber