Best First-Wave Cup of Coffee
For generations, coffee was not a phenomenon of terroir, where the knowledge of the farmers' methods and the backstory behind each hand-selected bean was worth the $15 price of admission. The current pour-over wave, while admirable for the care for the process as well as the producer, is a definite step away from coffee's original identity as a distinctly utilitarian and functional beverage, a cup of working-class American can-do, where cream and sugar were not adulteraters of the flavor but vital components of the experience of preparing to reenter the office or complete the second half of a shift. This is the kind of coffee that belongs in an airpot, that gives a carafe on the hotplate its character — for which you can pay in loose change and not feel out of place. The coffee that's obsessed over in warehouse spaces with exposed wood beams and stone floors has its origins in paper cups served under fluorescent lights on formica. It's just coffee, which means there's more room for everything else.