The serious coffee drinker has long felt mildly superior to his or her peers. Filippo Marinetti was an early example. In the Futurist Manifesto of 1911, he willed Italy to become the “caffeine of Europe”. No doubt he would be appalled to see that the cappuccino has become the emblem of effete liberal yuppiedom, not to mention the fact that social democratic Sweden is now the world’s largest consumer of coffee.

The supposed degeneration in this manner of things is best exemplified by, a site where coffee lovers can satisfy the most arcane reaches of their anorak tendencies and even be proud of them. The internet age has turned even urbane, polo-neck wearing espresso drinkers into minutiae-obsessed nerds. covers all aspects of coffee- brewing, offering advice on everything from how best to tamp one’s shot of espresso to what coarseness to grind for what occasion. User forums bring together people who in real life would blanch at admitting they know so much about the various parts of an espresso machine.

The site is essentially for espresso drinkers. Many of us consider the caffe latte to be a milksop of a drink, to be taken only when in a hurry for breakfast. To sit leisurely over a latte in the mid-afternoon is akin to checking in to an airport for the duration of one’s holidays. Links to latte sites are provided, though. is a place where the term “barista” is one of utmost respect. Accountants might wish they could rebrand themselves as effectively as coffee-shop employees have done. But then would be tautologous, would it not?

Originally published by The Guardian.

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