Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Kind of Coffee Are You?

I was at Starbucks recently and noticed a display for four different varieties of bagged coffee beans. Each sat on a shelf with a sign announcing its distinctive "personality":

* Extraordinary and Enticing
* Interesting and Complex
* Familiar and Friendly
* Adventurous and Assertive
I thought "wow, I want friends like that......hell, I want to BE like that!" It's a great example of subtle marketing savvy. "By their coffee shall ye know them."

A quick web search revealed several less effective versions of this theme, including Peaberry Coffee (do you like your undertones sweet, earthy, fruity or smoky?) If you have about a friggin' hour of your life to kill you can take the moral equivalent of a GRE-level exam to determine your coffee personality (from "solid, systematic and simple existence" to "adventurous and crazy, full of life and flavor"). Or try the Coffee Personality Test (CPT) (heaven help any of you who are a "quiet, introspective Jamaican Blue Mountain" at over $30 a pound!)

But all of these lengthy tests (that would do Rube Goldberg proud) are a waste of time and energy when good old Starbucks has it all boiled down to eight words. Just remember that if you want, for example, to be both enticing and adventurous you must buy two different varieties and mix them yourself. Work, work, work.

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