Essence of Coffee logo below coffee dripping from a machine

God in a cup

An Ontological Argument for the Perfect Espresso or just a good rant

I wonder if ‘the rant’ is a universal human quality, or something uniquely embodied in me? I enjoy a good rant from time to time. So, according to my inimitable rantness, I was engaged in a profound rant to – or within earshot of – my wife, and my good friend Marcus. Subject of rant: dealing with my less than perfect bank.

[Begin rant]

“It took months to get my online banking accounts setup correctly so that my accounting software could work correctly. Each time the bank changes something it takes 3 weeks to fix it. Someone from the bank has changed it… AGAIN… now I can’t access it and it will take 3 weeks to fix.” (there was a side rant here about time saving technology…)

Dang, I’m on a good rant now and as every ‘rant high achiever’ knows, you can’t let a good rant go… So I’m moving on, with a full head of steam, to a lack of personal service, account restrictions that add complexity to doing business so on and so forth…

[End rant]

(Note of caution: trying to stop a ranter under a full head of steam is like stepping in front of a fast-moving train… it’s not going to end well, so don’t go there; just saying)

A well-meaning someone stepped in front of my good rant with the off-hand statement “although we may desire good service, and technology that actually works, it does not exist”.  Not to be halted mid-rant I rebutted with a sound ontological defense… “it must exist because I can imagine it.”

Now those of deep philosophical insight will immediately recognize the ontological argument of ‘being’. Evil, like darkness has no ontological reality, darkness is the absence of light, evil the absence of good. It has effect but it only exists in the absence of a positive existential reality.

It is also an example used as proof for the existence of God. It goes like this: “I cannot imagine what does not exist, therefore God must exist”. As an aside it should be noted that most people who acknowledge the existence of God, do so, not because of ontological argument, but because of the ‘experience’ of God’s presence and engagement within creation.

Basically the idea is that ideals should exist and should be the goal to be obtained.

A bank ‘is’, therefore a perfect bank (god in a bank perhaps) can ‘be’. The movie Princess Bride similarly posits a ‘higher’ form of what is loosely called love – true love. based on this premise, ‘true love’ according to Max the miracle worker, is the most noble cause. Prince Humperdinck opined that it only happens ‘once in a lifetime’. True love must exist because it can be imagined.

To my point: The quest for ‘god in a cup’ therefore is both a philosophical and a deeply spiritual quest. It is the idea that because I can imagine the perfect cup it must exist.

The deeply spiritual argument goes like this: If a coffee cherry is grown in the perfect environment (terroir), lovingly raise (husbandry), carefully processed and delivered to the master roaster (wizard of all things coffee) then it can be done.

The roasting wizard skillfully brings the bean to the point of caramelization and delicately develops that sweetness then hands it over to a meticulously conscientious barista whose skill at brewing such bean is applied, then:  

VOILA! You have the experience of the existence of that which every coffee connoisseur believes must exist – god in a cup.

Strive for the ideal, don’t settle for the inferior: in my world it is the Essence of Coffee.