October 21, 2011

Coffee Genius

Well, this is certainly something. Perhaps it's a sign of the Food Network's decline, or television's as a whole. Another reality/competition show. Great. Yawn. One thing it's not is subtle. Dripping with Iron Chef inspired panache, the whole thing seems to delight in its absurdity.

A confession: I adore the aforementioned Iron Chef, both the original Japanese model and the American import. I'm probably even more fond of Chopped, the more hectic and random variation on the cooking competition theme.

I like food. (Who doesn't?) And I like theatrics. (Same question.) Of course, incorporating that in to one's drink making is troublesome, if not altogether impossible. Speed is more the issue, and customers are probably not willing to try red snapper (or whatever "mystery ingredient") in their latte. And that's probably fair.

Even still, some part of me sees shows like this and thinks: "Why not coffee?" Well, there are probably a lot of reasons, but really, I don't want those answers. I want to imagine a giant conveyor belt and a bar area that looks like something off of a Star Trek set. I want someone to make this show, and I want to watch every episode, over and over, forever. Then, one day, I want to be on it.

Sure, there are already barista competitions. But, even for those of us who really care about the craft of coffee prep, those can be a chore to watch. You can't really see anything, and none of the tedious bits are edited out. Basically, the whole thing needs a producer, some glitz, and some Food Network air time.

(If anyone with the power to make the above happen reads this, I don't need any compensation, just take the idea. Please. And then, while we're at it, give me a show where I travel to coffee shops around the world, a la Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Ratings gold.)

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