Craft coffee is not a real thing– no more so than craft doughnuts, craft beer or craft mixed drinks. Coffee, doughnuts, beer and mixed drinks get made by hand with different degrees of care and ingenuity for years, or millennium, and only in the past 10 years have we been perverting the noun craft and affixing it to them as an adjective. But all these things do have one critical production-related aspect in common, a component I think that gives the phrase “Craft Coffee” some validity.
Craft Coffee Needs the Human Touch
That element is, of course, the focus on the human touch. The foremost dictionaries today are in agreement on this: Craft is an art, trade or occupation requiring unique skills, particularly manual abilities.
In coffee, prospects for workmanship– the application of professional ability and manual precision– are apparent at almost all stages of production from farm to cup. Yet does a coffee have to have shown workmanship at all those levels to be labeled “craft?” If nowhere else, the term definitely can relate to the brewing stage, where steps range from placing a pod and pushing a single button to hands-on control over every parameter and function.
What sparked my obsessing over this phrase recently was a press release from home appliance manufacturing giant KitchenAid. The company now has a formal Craft Coffee Team of product designers, and it just debuted 3 new appliances to its Craft Coffee line, consisting of a siphon brewer, a French press and a manual grinder. They are shortly to join the already offered KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer, an automatic filter brewer that strives to replicate manual pour-over action and results.
KitchenAid’s efforts to capitalize on the unprecedented and growing appeal of “craft coffee” among home brewers is understandable.
Now You Can Make Craft Coffee at Home
It’s absolutely possible that KitchenAid’s brand-new products do have the capability to produce outstanding results, even when touched by untrained, amateur hands. (Their stand mixer is a proven winner in its high-end home category.) However should we not try to protect one of the only remaining fairly definable terms in the coffee market?
These are the products you need to make Craft Coffee
This is the video demonstrating how easy you can make Craft Coffee at home
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