One of the greatest things that makes living in our world so amazing is that everyone is entirely unique. Obviously, some of us have similar interests and hobbies creating a means of relatability and community. Overall, however, we are also all quite different. We look different, like different clothes, have differing opinions, and to some, most importantly, have our own unique way of drinking coffee. Apparently, knowing how someone likes their coffee is no longer reserved for trying to impress a new significant other. Instead, it’s enough to instigate an internet war!
When Delish came out with their Coffee and Cream Gradient Chart, all they wanted to know was how different people preferred their coffee. According to Delish, “It was innocent—all we wanted to know was how you take your coffee. But we started a creamer vs. coffee war that none of us could’ve expected.” (1)
Delish’s Coffee And Cream Gradient Chart
The coffee gradient chart includes a picture of 36 different types of coffee. They range in color due to the different ingredients added to the coffee–cream or milk–and vary in color and hue due to the amount added. The chart is organized in a grid with Y-axis labeled A-F and X-axis labeled 1-6. This allowed readers to easily identify their preferred cup of coffee. While Delish originally only intended for viewers to have fun pointing out their favorite coffee, they instead got much more than they bargained for. (1)
Some commenters simply announced their favorite cup, while others condemned those who disagreed. A wave of individuals began voting for A1, the one drink on the chart that was entirely creamer. You might empathize with the resulting response of confused, somewhat disgusted coffee drinkers. One commenter said, “Some of yall are really out here drinking coffee flavored milk and it needs to stop.” Others suggested that the only palatable cup of coffee were those in the middle with a partial dose of creamer or milk, but still a hefty portion of coffee. Others claimed that the pure black cup of coffee is the only way to go. (1)
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The Coffee Chart Wars
The fact that people have a different preference when it comes to coffee is in no way a surprise. People like different cereal, different pizza toppings, different ice cream flavors, and different sodas. The fact that everyone seems to have a different palate for coffee is entirely predictable! The complication comes when people can’t or won’t understand why someone else could or would have a different preference. It’s rare for people to see something from someone else’s perspective, or to put effort into understanding a different preference.
That being said, it’s easy to see things from someone else’s perspective! You just have to put in a little bit of effort.
People who enjoy coffee without cream or milk tend to enjoy the taste of the actual brew. People like this often invest in more expensive coffee beans, enjoying the differences in flavors from beans grown in different regions of the world. They don’t tend to reach for sweeteners or additives, as they see that as ruining the actual coffee.
People who tend to add a lot of creamer to their coffee might just enjoy a hot beverage that’s sweet. These types of people like “coffee,” meaning that they enjoy the hint of coffee flavor but only after it’s been sweetened to disguise all the flavors they don’t like. These types of people invest in different creamers and sweeteners and tend to buy cheap coffee beans with less intricate flavors. Those A1 drinkers may not be including any coffee at all! And why not? Warm milk has been used as a bedtime drink for generations.
There is a wide range of people in between, but most of them simply have a different palate preference, different experience with coffee, or different needs!
It’s not uncommon for people who drink black coffee–or at least, coffee with a small amount of milk or creamer–to stick their nose up at people who only drink it with a lot of creamer. Especially if these “coffee” drinkers insist that they like coffee, or are drinking real coffee. The truth is that comparing black coffee to coffee that’s mostly creamer is like comparing a bar of 90% dark chocolate to a four layer chocolate cake with thick icing. There’s no harm in liking either thing. Both can be delicious to different people. While they have a common denominator, one is clearly different from the other. And that’s 100% OK. It’s as simple as that.
The main take away here is to approach your fellow man with an open mind and compassionate heart. You don’t have to like what anyone else likes, but it’s not your job to judge them for it either. It can be difficult to learn empathy and compassion when faced with difficult, hot-button issues like politics or religion. So maybe we can start small–with something as simple as a cup of coffee.