black coffee

5 Reasons To Take Your Coffee Black

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Coffee is probably the second most important liquid of the modern world, surpassed only by oil. We use oil to fuel our vehicles and infrastructure and use coffee to fuel ourselves. In a civilization where one must run at full speed just to stay in place and amphetamines are frowned upon for various reasons (unless you’re a 6 year old who is understandably bored to death by a midwitted woman’s incessant droning), the old beanwater is a necessity and for many, the last remaining luxury. Nevertheless, there’s plenty wrong with modern coffee culture, much of which can be done away with if we retvrned to drinking the stuff in its unadulterated form, no bells and whistles. 

1. Cream and sugar in coffee are some of the easiest calories to drop. 

Unless you’re one of those skinny weirdos who actually have trouble putting on weight (you know who you are), you probably have an excess of weight. This means you should cut down on calories consumption. There are other ways to slim down, true, at the end of the day, you gotta either consume fewer calories or expend more calories. Now, coffee is very low-cal, only 2 calories per cup if the internet is to be believed. However, the cream, sugar, steamed milk, flavours or that pumpkin spice thing white women love add to the calorie count, anywhere from 30 to 150 calories per cup. Bear in mind that while 150 calories is not a lot, this iterates with every cup and believe you me, reader, few working men can make it through the day on just one coffee. So, let’s play around with the math a little bit.
Back when I was bedevilled with the curse of wagiedom, I would consume 7-8 cups of coffee, usually unsweetened macchiatos, which apparently has 8 calories, for a maximum of 64 calories per day. Since switching to 2 calorie espressos, my 8 per day habit now yields a paltry 16 calories. Sugar, of course, is a much greater scourge than the milk in macchiatos or lattes.
Now, you may say, these are small amounts and indeed they are, but they are purely optional calories which you are nevertheless putting in your body and can therefore easily drop. You don’t need the cream and sugar, even if you need the caffeine. It’d be like finding $64 lying in the street. Is it going to revolutionise your bottom line? No. But it’s also free money and you’d be a fool not to take it. 

2. It makes you appreciate good coffee 

The biggest objection I hear when I suggest to people that they take their coffee black is that they find black coffee too bitter. This is true in the case of most blends. There are two types of coffee out there, arabica, which is mild, sweeter and has a richer taste and robusta, which is stronger, but has a bitter taste. Most of the crap that you’re sold comes from inferior, robusta-heavy brands, which probably are behind the headaches and heart palpitations some people get from drinking coffee. 

However, coffee retailers will often successfully conceal the foul taste and therefore inferior quality of their blend by smothering your serving in cream, sugar and all sorts of flavouring. Since cream/milk and sugar is a combination which is very difficult to mess up and is almost universally considered delicious, it allows retailers to essentially sell you inferior coffee, often at an inflated price. Some types of coffee, like freeze-dried instant coffee are absolutely revolting and undrinkable without cream and sugar. You can counter their deception by taking your coffee black, no cream, no sugar, no malarkey. This will educate your palate and give you an appreciation for the better blends out there, which is also good for your health, as high quality blends put less stress on your cardiovascular system. It’ll also give allow you to learn through (literally) bitter experience which coffee shops in your city serve the good stuff and which are just plying you with a potent sugar/cream combo which is not only fattening, but it also serves to modify your behaviour. Which leads us to:

3. It makes you less controllable 

Writing as far back as 1937, George Orwell commented in The Road to Wigan Pier on how much importance the British government placed on keeping the country well supplied with tea and sugar. After spending some time among the working class and observing their tea-drinking habits, he concluded that sweetened tea is the Englishman’s opium. The powerful combination of stimulants and sugar was a happiness bomb, which the working class (by then languishing on welfare) would anaesthetise itself against the horrid stings of humiliation and boredom often found accompanying unemployment. Being a Marxist, he contended that sweetened tea is a methodology of controlling the working class, but I’d wager a guess that sweetened, creamy coffee creates a powerful happiness bomb in your brain regardless of class. 

Now, far be it from me to suggest people shouldn’t be happy, but there is something hollow and unseemly about chemically-induced happiness. We seek out caffeine because it’s a stimulant and stimulants are, when used responsibly, masculine and good drugs, since they spur to and support action. However, modern coffee culture has sneaked in calories and especially sugar through the back door in order to subvert our yearning for action and infuse this sense of hollow joy in our brains. I will break with form and call for a degree of dourness, not as an end in of itself, but in the service of true joy. Without the false comforts of sweetened coffee or tea, we are free to seek out the true pleasures that life has to offer. 

4. You’ll be more sophisticated and also more down to earth.

There’s a concept from political theory called High/Low vs. Middle, and it usually refers to the higher and lower classes teaming up against the middle classes. It features heavily in political analysis, but I find that it also holds true in tastes, especially in terms of food and clothing. For example, the British brand Burberry was a favourite of the late Queen Elizabeth, but also very popular among the so-called chavs, the white, council estate dwelling wiggers of the United Kingdom. We observe a similar phenomenon among the enjoyers of black coffee. United in the appreciation of the good, black stuff are both the regular joes who like their Joe regular, as well as the sophisticates and coffee snobs who can sniff out the difference between a Kenyan and Costa Rican blend. It’s always a good idea to have a drink of choice which welcomes you at both the highest and lowest tables of society, for true power is located in those locations. In a company, the only men who truly matter are the CEO and the doorman, the only ones who can make or break you all by themselves. So it is in life, and sharing a drink with someone is usually how we turn them into friends. 

5. You’ll be doing baristas a solid

I’ve known some service industry employees in my time and all of them hate difficult customers who are fussy about their orders. Now, this isn’t supposed to mean that they will mess up your complicated orders, but it’s a hassle to make the complicated and fancy coffees people seem to clamour for these days. Indeed, in this sea of entitled brats, you get to be the valued customer who requires no more than the simple bean water in its unspoiled, natural state, simple to prepare, easy to make and always served with a friendly smile. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, cultivating a friendly relationship with your local baristas is essential and hey, maybe you can even strike up a conversation and network with them for mutual benefit. Everyone is pursuing some hustle these days, but nobody ever made it in life all on his lonesome.
Cute barista girls will appreciate the elegant simplicity of your regular order and will look to you as a rock of stability in a turbulent tempest of pumpkin spice lattes and creamy crappucinos. You will earn their respect and over time, possibly admiration. So, take this old caffeine addict’s wise words to heart: take your coffee black.  

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Roger that. Switching to pure Arabica coffee, and I’ll drink it black. This morning I drank three cups of coffee with milk & sugar, and even as I read this, I became aware of my unsettlingly strong heart beat. It’s that damn robusta they’ve been hiding with milk & sugar!

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