The God coffee – religious experience or dodgy sect?

IMG_5382Since I mentioned the ‘God coffee’ in a previous blog, it has aroused a certain degree of curiosity from my readers. No one has heard of it. Not even Google. Search for the term and the gods of cyberspace give you Starbuck’s markets more ‘anti-God’ coffee cups (sounds more exciting than it is), a Welcome to God’s Coffee store, followed by images for God’s coffee (characters genuflecting in front of a giant coffee maker) and a blog posting entitled, The false god of coffee tracking one man’s attempt to stop drinking it. Tap in the word ‘God shot’ however and you get what I may be talking about (thank you @relishcornwall).

The ‘God coffee’ is neither Starbuck’s, nor is it a shop, a cartoon or one man’s pilgrimage to a caffeine-free existence.

It is time for the stone to be rolled back. I have seen the ‘God coffee’ once only. On a graph. I have neither made one nor tasted one.

I knew that coffee was complicated but I didn’t know that it was three hours of complicated, after which I still felt ill-qualified to produce a decent cup. I also didn’t expect my training with Monmouth to be so esoteric and it delighted the writer in me. Give something a narrative and I can follow it; with every subsequent coffee I ever make or drink I will be hooked: is this the holy grail of beans? My china nirvana? Morning salvation?

Adam’s interpretation of it went something like this: he drew a line on which all coffee exists. It begins at sour/fruity/acid at one end and ends in bitter, nutty, alkali at the other. In the middle is ‘good’ coffee, where most cups should sit and as a barista, you should be happy with this. Good coffee is cocoa, marzipan, velvety, caramel.

IMG_5383‘God coffee’ is off the graph; little X’s dotted around the good. Completely off the line. It is, in Adam’s words: “serendipitous”, “when the X-factors come together”, “religious” and a “happy accident.” He has only tasted two in his time and claims that, “When you serve it to a customer you can see it on their face.”

The training was excellent but all I could think of was the celestial connection while we tamped, dosed and ground. ‘Stretching’ milk felt mildly miraculous but nothing when compared to the ‘God coffee’. I want to thank Adam but I also feel frustrated with him. It’s similar to saying that a writer, if all the correct co-ordinates are in place, could churn out a few words of Shakespeare, Joyce, James. I think writers aspire to Shakespeare, absorb him even, but don’t actually want to reproduce him. It’s enough just to know that somewhere, some form of perfection may exist, even just as a point of reference, as a book on a shelf, but I’m not expecting to convert the masses any time soon.

Raving looney caffeine-spiel in which case we should all be reading the ‘false god of coffee’ or are you a convert to the church of coffee? Spiritual guidance needed please.

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6 thoughts on “The God coffee – religious experience or dodgy sect?

  1. Your previous words on the subject forced me to head in to Monmouth and ask what it was. Sadly, none of the baristas seemed to know anything about the idea. But your description of it intrigues me.

    Funnily enough, the way you describe it, I feel as if I may have been fortunate enough to experience such a thing. Though, it happened just once (funnily enough, with Monmouth espresso, but it was in Fleet River Bakery). Maybe it wasn’t. But your writing certainly put me in mind of that flat white. It is certainly a very interesting idea.

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  2. It is an interesting one, and I would love to think that you have indeed experienced one. How would you describe it and why was it different to a ‘good’ one do you think? I thought Monmouth were rolling out some new marketing/training strategy, but it seems to be a one man mission to spread the word! Thanks for your thoughts …

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    • Thinking about it, it probably wasn’t what you describe, simply because of the rareness with which God coffee apparently comes about. It was just far and above the best cup of espresso-based coffee I have ever had. I kept commenting to my friend how great the coffee was. The review is here: http://nocoffeeleftbehind.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/fleet-river-bakery-holborn/ but reading it back, I don’t think I gave the coffee enough justice in the praise I lavished upon it. I attributed it to the Monmouth blend, but I don’t think it was as simple as that. It was different though. Maybe it was hinting at the transcendence of a God coffee, though you have me doubting whether it actually was.

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  3. adz

    Hiya please accept my apologies for inciting frustration. Twas never the intention. After reading your blog, I realised that I probably didn’t use the term “God Shot” during our session, which may or may not have hindered your further research into the topic. Again, apologies are in order. The concept of the God Shot is not new; I first came across it about a decade ago in one of David Schomer’s books. Doubt that he was the first to think of it…
    After much soul-searching, I have decided that the reason I love making espresso so much is that I love drinking good espresso, and by making the assumption that my customers also love drinking good espresso, I get a kick out of being a small part of the equation that produces that cheeky little grin (as opposed to the orgasmic moan-induced by the God Shot which only crops up every now and then) after knocking back the shot. It’s rewarding being a mere mortal to have that effect, and from the sounds of it, you kind-of-sort-of feel that way too. Hopefully, our short time in Padstow has helped in a small way to increase the chances of you producing that first God Shot. Also my imagination hopes that you’ll the one to drink it. In the meantime, watch that tamping wrist.

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    • Hi Adam, really good to hear from you. Your training was exemplary – the concept threw me somewhat but was hugely intriguing – a friend finally sorted out the God coffee/God shot dilemma. Let me know if you’re in Cornwall anytime soon to share a religious beverage!

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