|[a] Fresh RL|
Surely that is a display of authenticity worth considering.
|[b] Stale RF|
Let's say that you're a little older—maybe born in 1930. In the last ten or fifteen years, you might have noticed fairly consistent coffee quality at a wide range of places. This came on so slowly that you were not startled, but one day, about five years ago, while sitting in McDonalds, you realized that the coffee was consistently pretty...not bad. Your mind (you are pushing eighty-two right now) flows back to an earlier time. You remember sitting in the diner outside of Little Rock and knowing when you ordered a cup of coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon that the pot had been on the burner, a third full...since the end of the breakfast rush. When Skip the cook, poured it for you (a cigarette hanging over his stubbled chin), it seemed as though little chunks of brown plaster were falling into your cup.
|[c] Diner RF|
In other words, there was a lot of pretty bad coffee before 1970...or 2005. It was dependent on timing, technology, and commercial pressures. Oh, that fresh cup from a fresh pot was a wonderful thing back in 1955 or 1995.
Oh, that last cup from an old pot...was awful.
People of a certain age probably remember that few of us would complain to the staff about that last cup. It was beyond impolite. The diner or café had costs, too, and who were we to expect new coffee every single time? It was just the luck of the draw, and we would wait for the next time (or sit around long enough to get a fresh cup after swallowing the bitter acidity of the old stuff). There was art, chance, and imagination involved, not to mention good manners. It was much more complicated than a fresh, perfect cup every single time.
|[d] Authentic RF|