Lately I’ve been watching episodes of a newly discovered show for me called Millionaire Matchmaker. I’m not particularly proud of this, but I just can’t look away from the collection of over-tanned dudes with crazy white teeth attempting to make love connections with the wear-a-party-dress-everywhere-they-go girly girls.
I keep coming back to watch it again, though, because in between the ridiculous, and past the outward appearances, a fair percent of these love-hungry people really are very intelligent, diverse, and downright good people. I find myself cheering for the good guy, telling the smart got-it-all-together chick to move on, and wondering how this clearly lovable man hasn’t found a partner in life yet.
Sit tight, because I’m not about to talk endlessly about the Bravo network, but I totally relate to the challenge the matchmaker faces with each match she attempts to make for her love-hunting clients. When she begins her matchmaking, she always asks the client what they’re searching for in a mate, and they usually answer with a super broad reply like “I like brunettes”.
She grimaces, and then starts surgically extracting more information about their likes, dislikes, and past failures to reach some basic direction to the kind of mate she might find for them.
I totally get the job she has to do. I know I’m not a bedazzled L.A. matchmaker, but not unlike her job, I have to make sense out of the vague, and guide people to their love matches.
My reality TV show? The Coffee Bean Matchmaker – Going on nothing but “I like Colombian”, or “I like a dark roast”, then taking clients from an unsatisfied past with coffee into their newly evolved relationship with the bean.
Are you trying to find your coffee soul mate? Here are a few tips for you to help your matchmaker get you what you’re searching for the next time you visit your favorite coffee roaster.
1. Quality counts. Yep, if you’re searching for an intelligent, loving, athletic, and complex mate, you’re not likely going to find that person at your local Booze-n-Pole at 2 a.m. It’s certainly possible, but let’s agree – not likely. If you’re looking for quality coffee, start with a roaster that roasts quality product.
2. Coffees have endless profiles. Like people, no two coffees are identical. Saying “I like Colombian” is the equivalent of saying “I like Colombian women”. What’s more helpful? Talk about what you liked or disliked about the last Colombian you tried (coffee that is). Describe some of what you tasted, or how it tasted brewed in your French press. A little more information will help the roaster read between the lines.
3. Ask for help. Know that your roaster can send you home with a great coffee in hand, but you can still mess up the relationship big time by using a bad quality grinder, brewer, or random bad habit that will send you to divorce court before the second date. Ask your roaster for grinding, brewing and storing tips to help you score a home run.
4. Don’t assume. If you got dumped by your lady friend, and decided to date her sister in hopes that she’d be exactly the same person, you’re on the wrong track. Just like siblings, a coffee from the same growing region might offer similar qualities, but might not meet your expectations. Even the exact same coffee, from the exact same farmer, the next harvest season can taste different. Weather conditions, harvest timing, and coffee processing can all affect the final result.
5. You have the right to expect consistency. Yep, if you fall in love with her fun jokes, bright personality, and loving attention, you don’t want to wake up to bridezilla six months from now. Just the same, a coffee roaster’s blends, although constantly evolving with changing harvests or availability, should always land where expected in terms of what is delivered in your cup. A roaster producing signature blends will tweak them with careful tasting and testing to keep the similar experience on track over the seasons. A single origin from the same lot should stay consistent with each fresh batch during the limited months it’s available, but likely expect changes when the new harvest arrives the next year.
6. Get to know her background. I don’t believe that a person should be judged by her family, but the reality is that what goes on behind the scenes of a roasterie are things you can ask about. What is the roaster’s experience level? What kind of ongoing training do they do? What kind of roasting system is used? Is the roaster’s process certified organic? If you like what you’re sipping, then maybe none of this matters, but when wooing a new mate these things help paint a more complete picture about what can be expected as your relationship grows.
7. How old is she? Yes, it might be rude to ask a woman’s age, but if you wanna have some little ones running around your house in the coming years, you’ll probably want to know how that biological clock is doing. Coffee is no exception. Ask its age every time, and only go for the fresh stuff. It should be right there in front of you on the bag or roasterie bin. If it’s not, don’t date.
8. Finally, don’t be afraid to play the field. Those willing to try new things will often be rewarded most. Coffee origins, blends, and roast degrees will all contribute to the flavor in your cup, so try to find the coffee personality that makes you giggle most. This includes brew methods. Be open to drip, pour over, press or espresso if you have the chance to explore. Some will find their true love and form a committed relationship, while others may prefer switching it up all the time. Whatever your style, coffee is totally cool either way.
Most of all, have fun, and happy dating…uhh….errr….sipping.