If you want perfection, buy a cup of coffee (not a dog)

I’m talking a decent, handcrafted espresso here obviously. Made from freshly ground single-estate beans. By a bearded, tattooed, hat-wearing hipster of course.  (That is how coffee-perfection is defined these days right?)

But do not buy a dog.

Trawl all the funky coffee start-ups in your neighbourhood. Attend their free cuppings. Keep notes if you wish (you can buy the rather nice book featured above here).

But do not buy a dog.

If you’re keen enough, you can even attend a home-barista course and spend the best part of two grand on a super-duper coffee machine (the lovely people at Extract Coffee can definitely help you with both of these).

But do not buy a dog.

Because when the novelty wears off, and you realise you will never make new-barista-of-the-year, you will lose all enthusiasm for the cause and return to your favourite “three-quid-is-totally-reasonable-for-a-perfect-cup-of-coffee” local.

And unlike that very-expensive-but-shiny coffee machine now collecting dust in your kitchen, you can’t just sideline your furry friend.

You see, whether it’s coffee-or canine-companion-crafting, it’s not about the kit. It’s not really about going on the “right” course (although, of course, knowledge helps). It’s about practise.

Training is not a noun, it’s a verb.

It’s not a class you attend and then it’s done, it’s a process. You cannot get good at anything without making lots and lots of errors. There will be many substandard cups of coffee that never get served. Iteration and expertise go hand in hand.

So do not buy a dog if you are seeking perfection. Even with all the practise in the world, you will never achieve it. Your dog is not a finely-ground, expertly-pressed, handcrafted brew. You cannot just chuck it and start over when things don’t quite work out. You cannot demand perfection.

That’s what coffee is for.

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