A few months before the end of my student days, with the prospect of unemployment looming over me, I made a list of possible careers. I thought I would start with the things I like in life, remembering reading somebody’s unhelpful advice that ‘success is doing what you love and making it a career.’ To cut a long story short, it became apparent to me that I was destined to be a coffee critic (if such a thing even exists). I would travel around the world -or maybe just around Glasgow to begin with- visiting every coffee shop. I would sample their cappuccino, take a few photos and write up a critique. I explained to my parents that I would indeed be making good use of my languages degree- I would no longer be flummoxed whilst ordering coffee in at least five European countries- insuring that the last five years had not been in vain.
Today, my dream came true. Almost. Actually, not really, but bear with me.
Having spotted a new coffee shop in town, I felt it was my duty to taste test the coffee and to suss out if the baking and other edible treats were worth a future try. The questions began tumbling out: ‘How large is your large cup size?’ ‘How small is the small?’ ‘Do you have decaf?’ ‘What exactly do you get in the salad? How many items can you choose?’ ‘What sandwich fillings are there?’
I was truly the most annoying customer, who not only questioned every item on the menu, but then went on to order one cappuccino -to take away, adding insult to injury. All the questioning seemed to have stirred up knowing glances by the coffee machine and before the milk had even been frothed, I was being asked if I was ‘the one who was reviewing the coffee shop?’ Taken off guard, and also secretly delighted that they thought I was a coffee critic, I grinned like an idiot, clearly suggesting that, yes, I was. They then proceeded to give me my coffee for free. Oops, but many thanks.
Life lessons learnt: Having thought about how to critique this coffee, I have realised that I would make the worst coffee critic ever. I only have two categories: 1. coffee was yummy, I would have it again. 2. coffee was not so yummy, I wouldn’t have it again.
It is also obviously not OK to lie, but sometimes you might receive a coffee on the house.