By Jeremy Martin
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Science tells us that perception is 90% of reality. OK, I made that up, but it kind of sounds legit right?
However, what I do know for certain is that the intangible aspects of a moment ”i.e. what music is playing, who is around you, how soft the lighting is, and so on ”significantly color our views of a given experience. For example, most of us will feel far more comfortable at a café when the baristas are playing music we like and find relaxing.
People have spent entire lifetimes searching for meaning in life, seeking true happiness and a fuller understanding of what makes each individual a unique being. But what if we had a shortcut to discovering some of these things about ourselves, a way to uncover our own personal happiness, but without having to put all of that taxing spiritual work in?
Of course nothing like that actually exists (nothing unscheduled by the FDA that is), but a new website (coffeetastingclub.com) has a tongue-in-cheek way of pairing books, music, and coffee to help you find your own version of inner peace. Simply tell the app what type of coffee you prefer, how you take it, and where you intend to drink it, and voila: you’ll be presented with a personalized reading selection matched instantaneously with a song choice, thereby setting the perfect mood.
As a work-from-home writer, my daily routine involves drinking an entire pot of coffee (yes, from a drip machine…don’t judge me), listening to albums, thumbing through books, and occasionally staring at a computer screen hoping each story writes itself. In that regard, I assumed I held at least a modestly tuned instinct into my ideal music and literature pairing. For instance, I am currently enjoying a cup of Mocha Java roasted by Seattle’s Lighthouse Roasters while listening to the 1999 self titled release from Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars. Beside my computer is a copy of The Head Game by Roger Kahn, an insightful look at the mental makeup of some of Major League Baseball’s most celebrated pitchers.
Thankfully, the Coffee Tasting Club cleared up any questions I might have about what to listen to/read next, with the assessment of my black-coffee choice and home office setting resulting in this prescription: I should listen to Holy Wars…The Punishment Due by Megadeath while reading a copy of Helter Skelter, the True History of the Manson Murders, a delightful little romp penned by Vincent Bugliosi.
“The style of coffee you drink has put you in a very niche genre,” Robert Deans, one of the creators of the Coffee Tasting Club, explained to me. “Some of he genres have a lot less songs and books than others.”
Robert’s go to coffee during the week is a latte at his office, which when plugged into the website, assuming his latte is unsweetened, delivers a combination of Deep Blue Day by Brian Eno and Paper Towns by John Green.
The Eno selection seems reasonable in terms of getting into a good head space at the office. I do wonder, however, how much actual work is going to get done with us spending our days reading about celebrity murders and young adult cross-country road trips?
Obviously, the Coffee Tasting Club is all for fun, and while it may not provide you with any significant spiritual insights, it just might introduce you to some new music or give you a good suggestion for which novel to read next.
And if you like this game, Robert tells me that Boom is currently working on some new projects which should be released in the near future, but those are kind of hush hush for now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremy Martin is a freelance writer and photographer who has reported on coffee, craft beer, college sports, and business for a variety of publications over the past six years. A veteran of the café industry and graduate of Western Michigan University, Jeremy lives in Seattle where can often be found making sandwiches from whatever is left in the fridge and cracking wise for the amusement of his adoring wife Amanda.