Nothing Too Fancy Please

It’s a line our mothers say every time we try to take them out for dinner.

Also pronounced ‘pint of lager’, ‘just a coffee thanks’ or ‘I’ll just have the pie’.

Good ol' British traditions, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.

But why can’t we enjoy different things in life without labelling them like they’re a foreign invader attempting to destroy our British way of life? Speciality coffee, natural wine, ‘craft beer’ - it’s all just too ‘hipster’. ‘No thanks. Don’t like it.’

Why must we label it at all? Labelling theory suggests we negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from standard cultural norms.If a Mini Java Chip Light Frappuccino makes you happy, fuck it. Enjoy it. This isn’t being written to tell you what to like and what not to like. After all, it is simply a beverage that makes somebody happy.

Personally I don’t even know what one is. This frap game is complicated. I don’t like it.

I went on the Starbucks website to ease my curiosity:

Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup [Sugar, Water, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Mocha Sauce [Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Vanillin], Frappuccino Chips [Confectionery Coating (Sugar, Palm Kernel And Palm Oils, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla, Milk), Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Cookie Crumbs (Unbleached Unenriched Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm And Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Chocolate Mass, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor), Chocolate Mass (2%), And Salt].

This is a Mini Java Chip Light Frappuccino.

What is wrong with high quality coffee ground beans simply with water or milk? Or is this too complicated, too ‘hipster’?

Natural wine - it’s in the name. Natural wine grapes are farmed organically and made without adding or removing anything in the cellar. Fermented grape juice! Hipster!

It doesn’t help when famous restaurant critics label natural wine as unstructured with notes of farmyard and speciality coffee responsible for “ruining HIS espresso”. I’m looking at you Jay Rayner.

These products, before they are even given a chance, are negatively presented. Hell, sometimes speciality venues present themselves negatively, almost unwelcoming. Always seemingly in a battle to make you understand what it is they’re actually doing. Also not the best approach.

But it must get hard constantly politely explaining “sorry we actually don’t serve carrageenan or palm kernel oil with our coffees. We just don't feel seaweed or deforestation pairs well with this Ethiopian single origin we’re currently serving.”

So where do we go from here?

All this aims to do is give one person the incentive to try something new. Don’t label it, just go in blindly, and give it a chance. Hell, you may even like it! If you don’t, that’s okay too. Do what makes you happy.

It’s what experiencing food and drink should be about; it’s one of the simplest forms of happiness. It’s also something these hipsters are trying to achieve, so give them a chance.

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