Every city across the world has them. They wear striped T-shirts, with dungarees and Doc Martens. They have strange haircuts and most of the men have beards. They all ride single-speed bikes and read On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Yes, you know who I'm talking about: I'm talking about hipsters.
Now, let's not get it twisted here: "hipster" has become an incredibly diluted term that gets bandied about to pretty much describe anyone that is young, or any event that involves young people. But if you're talking about the real definition of a hipster, it's the scandi-styling, record-playing, house-plant-owning phenomenon who owns a colour-coordinated bookshelf and a fully-stocked spice rack (come on, when do you ever really use that tumeric?).
There's one thing that unites these people, one tiny, annoying thing... coffee. Hipsters love coffee. But not the instant kind, no. No it has to be independent coffee. And independent coffee is the worst; it is literally so, so bad - here's why.
Let's get started on the most important thing of all: the taste. Independent coffee tastes like absolute dirt. I don't know what they do to it (or don't do to it), but it literally tastes like drinking a cup of soil. It is either insanely bitter or completely flavourless. I know a lot of people will say that's because it's a natural product, and so doesn't have any harmful chemicals chucked in it, but I do not care. I want my coffee to taste good, and right now, Nescafe out of a sachet tastes a lot better.
Next on the list, how confusing are these places!? It used to be that the only options in a coffee shop were; a normal coffee, an Americano, a cappuccino, a latte or an espresso. Now, you go into a coffee shop and it's like a classroom. Walls are adorned with thousands of different blends being served in a variety of different ways that my simple mind just cannot understand. I tend to just stare blankly at the list, act like I know what everything is and then just ask for a latte instead. Listen, I'm not going to lie to you: I still don't know what a flat white is, and I think I can live with that.
Another thing that bugs me about independent coffee, is the snobbery of the culture. I popped into my local coffee shop with my friend once and she just wanted an coffee. Unsurprisingly, there wasn't an option for just a straight up coffee, so she ordered an Americano and asked if they could put a dash of milk in it, and the face on the man behind the counter was a picture.
It was as if she'd spat in his face or insulted his mother and then she asked for sugar. From there, all hell broke loose. Well, not really, but I honestly thought he was going to kill us due to our ineptitude. She ended up with a black coffee with about a single millilitre of milk in it, and walked away like a child who had just been told off, never to return again.
This is the thing: the whole culture behind independent coffee is unbelievably pretentious. If you don't know about moroccan blends and cold-brew coffee, you aren't welcome in these places. It stinks of people who don't actually know what they're talking about but just go along with it anyway.
When you order a coffee from these places, it takes about 10 years to arrive, due to the amount of filtering it has to go through, and then once it is plonked down in front of you without a smile, you get charged about £100 for one drink. Not only this, but some of them even have the cheek to "deconstruct" it for you, or just serve it in unbelievably small sizes because: "quality, not quantity". Shut up and just give me my caffeine, man.
Independent coffee sucks and the following is why: It's pretentious, tastes like crap and costs an arm and a leg to drink. Yes, it may be better for you, but there are a lot of things in life that are better for you than what you consume; broccoli is better for you than bacon, kale is healthier than cheese and water does more for you than beer, but I'll still go and get a bacon cheeseburger along with a pint from the pub tonight and love it. Tomorrow morning, I will wake up, make an instant coffee and go about my day safe in knowledge that I'm not a pretentious jerk who likes drinking soil.
Thanks a latte!