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The Great Caffeine Taste-Off

The Great Caffeine Taste-Off

The Great Caffeine Taste-Off is a method that is used to determine who makes the best coffee.

Myself, I do not believe there is such a thing as ‘The Best Coffee Available’. Actually, the best coffee available depends on the taste preferences of the individual who is stating his/her opinion. And even that can change over time.

In many ways, the Great Caffeine Taste-Off is similar to a Chili Cook-off. Have you ever been to a chili cook-off? Several judges taste chili and proclaim “This is the best chili available.” Then people will go away and one individual will think “I make the worlds best chili!” and the other people will think “Hmmmm, I don’t remember his chili but the judges voted for it and therefore it must be the best.”

The problem is the logic of the judging itself, some judges will say “The spicier the better”, some would say “The more meat, the better.”, others still will say, “I like a good tomato flavor. The one that tastes the most like tomato will receive my vote.” Even other judges will say “Hank’s a good friend of mine, ergo he makes the best chili”.

A smart chili contestant can manufacture the best chili based on his/her knowledge of the judges. Consider the 1991 local chili cook-off’s winning recipe:

  • 1 Roast Beef
  • 2 Onions
  • Several Cups of Water
  • Secret Spices

Most people would say “Dat ain’t Chili”. It just so happened this contestant knew several judges were of the type ‘The more meat the better’ and catered the chili to fit the liking of the judges. Second place, by the way, used as its primary ingredient, ketchup.

Nobody ever said I was in chili territory, and this is a coffee place, not a chili place :^)

This is the basis of the first rule of the Great Caffeine Taste-Off, that being everybody involved with the Great Caffeine Taste-Off can also be a judge.

Another problem with a chili cook-off is the duration of the contest. A really big cook-off may last the whole weekend. Usually they’ll last for just a day. Some even half a day. That is the nature of a chili lover. On the other hand a coffee lover needs many cups of coffee spread across many days in order to form a fair opinion. Some would say the Great Caffeine Taste-Off is like the energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going.

This being the case, here’s how a Great Caffeine Taste-Off works. Next to the coffee pot, a paper is attached to a clipboard. This paper contains the brand of coffee and a few columns people who drink the coffee are expected to fill out on the form. As the form fills, new paper is added to the stack. When the brand of coffee is changed, a new form is added to the clip board for the coffee drinker to fill.

Eventually over time a stack of papers should form which contain the opinions of different people about the different brands of coffee. These can be used as the basis of judging to determine who wins the Great Caffeine Taste-Off.

Advantages of the Great Caffeine Taste-Off

  • Gets people actually involved in one of the great topics throughout history “Who makes the best coffee”
  • People also participate in one of histories most interesting debates, second only to religion and politics.
  • Active participants are more willing to contribute to the coffee fund.
  • It makes drinking coffee even more fun than it already is.
  • Happy coffee drinkers are happy workers.
  • Happy workers are more productive.
  • A more productive workforce is able to produce more efficient goods and services than the competitors.
  • Competitors will slowly go away as the customers are happy at the good service your company provides.
  • Employees will get raises because they are a good workforce.
  • A great coffee event horizon will occur where those who drink coffee and participate in Great Caffeine Taste-Off’s will survive, and those who don’t will fade away.
  • Once the great coffee event horizon occurs world hunger will fade, there will be no more battles (other than the old, my coffee is better than yours) and the world will be a better place to live.

Should I start my own Great Caffeine Taste-Off?

Setting up a Great Caffeine Taste-Off takes a unique combination of circumstances in order to succeed.

This should probably be done in an office environment that has a traffic of coffee drinkers consisting of more than a few people.
The site probably would not have its coffee supplied by one of those coffee suppliers who replenish coffee supplies for a living, but rather, coffee is supplied by an employee responsible for keeping the coffee supplies stocked.
The employee charged with the job of keeping the coffee supplies stocked should be a willing participant of the Great Caffeine Taste-Off.
The participants should not be to anxious to end the Great Caffeine Taste-Off. This shouldn’t be to much of a problem as results of the Great Caffeine Taste-Off can be determined at any time.

Setting up a Great Caffeine Taste-Off

Supplies needed: Get a clipboard to hold the taste-off voting form. Create a number of Great Caffeine Taste-Off forms. Click here for an example Great Caffeine Taste-Off Voting Form. Pickup several different brands of coffee. Pickup enough of each brand to last between a few days and a few weeks. Always store them in a dry cool location. Remember, when restocking coffee to always buy different brands.

When a new brand of coffee is served, make a announcement that a new ‘Brew” is ready for sampling. Prepare a new Great Caffeine Taste-Off form and attach it to the clipboard.

When clipping the voting form to the clipboard, you probably want to hide the brand of coffee. This gives the coffee drinkers a more impartial chance to evaluate the coffee.

Post the clip board near the coffee pot. Inform drinkers to post opinions to the clipboard and if they later change their minds within the same brand of coffee, to find their previous post and scratch it off the list.

Good luck and when you’ve come to a conclusion with the Great Caffeine Taste-Off send feedback to mark@thecoffeeplace.com . I’ll post the results somewhere within these pages.