There are millions who wouldn’t think of coffee without abundant cream and sugar. (Hello, New England!) And there are a precious, precocious few who would consider condiments of *any* sort anathema to the coffee experience. For them, the NYTimes offers this point of view:
Coffee purists would never, ever add dairy to their coffee, and they would sooner drink General Foods International’s instant Hazelnut Belgian Café than add soy milk. After all, we’re now in the age of microlot coffee, when beans are harvested and handled with the same care that goes into making wine, and the flavors of an exceptional cup of coffee can be as layered and complex as a glass of pinot noir. Cream would just ruin it.
If it sounds snobby, consider this: would you dab a Peter Luger porterhouse with ketchup? A slab of well-aged beef needs nothing more than salt, pepper and a good char. There’s nothing arrogant about leaving the Heinz out of it.
Firstly, never is a very long time. To say that one might never add cream — or any dairy — is to rule out the little slice of heaven that is the espresso macchiato, or the more bountiful coffee and dairy expression that is the cappuccino. And that would be wrong.
Secondly, Peter who? Oh… yeah. I guess it’s a New York thing. Sorry, if you want to make a purist’s analogy between coffee and aged beef, maybe you should refer to a purist’s steakhouse, and those are in Kansas City. Yes, both of them.
And fourthly, if you think this isn’t an issue near and dear to the hearts of many, note that the original Times piece has more than 100 comments on it, which is to say, this may be a greater issue than Global Climate Change and FISA, combined.