linda asher, translating czech novelist milan kundera, quoting french novelist marcel proust in the new yorker:
Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.
this blog has been known to rip off other literary greats in service of a similar point: coffee — really good coffee — tells you more about yourself than you will ever learn of it.
making the superlative espresso movement about the barista, then, fails to leverage the most potent optical instrument on the scene. baristi are noisy; they are, as a group, necessarily cacophonous. espresso is both staggeringly diverse in character and devastatingly singular in its scrutiny, like a timeless monocle focused unflinchingly on the imbiber.
so, viva la barista, yes. but immortalize the coffee. it is the only way to perpetuate a discerning class of drinkers.