Editors Note: This lovely detailed results section was also written
by our dear bud Foofus, who is apparently far less lazy than the High Lord
of All That Is Caffeine, Rob.
The Results, In More Detail
We started off by brewing two pots of coffee, one of each. We had
only one grinder, though, and it belonged to Foofus, so he naturally
ground first. This put Mark at an unfair disadvantage in two ways:
not only was he unfamiliar with the grinder, but also his coffee would
not be the first to finish brewing. This latter fact caused him to
fall victim to what shall henceforth be known as:
Shrdlu's First Theorem of Coffee:
brews are sampled in succession,
the judge is likely to prefer the first coffee tasted.
I'm reasonably sure that this principle is written down in all sorts
of important books, and is recognized as a fundamental fact of the
fabric of the universe, just like conservation of mass, or the fact
that scissors cuts paper, but gets smashed by rock. It should be noted
that the author of the theorem cited above made sure to have six
or seven cups of coffee before showing up
at CoffeeWars. Phew! It should also be noted that Shrdlu's Second
Theorem of Coffee involves a lot of words unfit for the eyes of the
gentle reading public.
OK, so Ancora d'Oro was the first coffee to be sampled. There was
general praise for its aroma (both of the beans in the bag, and of
the fully brewed beverage). In fact, it is safe to say that if
aroma had been the only category of judgement, Foofus would probably
have won. The exception to this was a guy in a purple RSA t-shirt,
who preferred the Kenya AA's aroma. Of course, even though he
smelled both, he only actually drank the Kenya AA, so perhaps that's
to be expected.
Mark's coffee was good, but at the end of the first pot, the core
team (Mark, Foofus, and Shrdlu) expressed a slight preference for
Ancora d'Oro. In fact, upon tasting it, Shrdlu was observed to
squint, and make roaring noises, which was interpreted by this
reporter as a form of praise. When we brewed the second pot,
however, Kenya AA was back in the game.
By this point, Mark had improved his mad phat skillz with the
grinder. Not only that, but the second pots were judged on a
more even footing than the first: we had all had some coffee by
that point, after all. The second pot of Kenya AA was very
mellow, and delicious.
One of our tasters was a heavy-set guy in a grey polo shirt. He
claimed to be in Las Vegas on vacation, and to have left his family
at their hotel room, and come over to the conference just to see
what it was like. He was an ex-employee of the federal government,
but it was not clear what branch, or in what capacity. Anyway,
despite his rather hokey explanation for being at the con, this guy
was a very personable and a real enthusiast-- it was a pleasure
having him there. His comments on the second pot of Kenya AA were
that it was "very mild," and that it obviously "had not been sitting
in the pot for three days."
It was this mildness that gave the second pot of Mark's coffee the
edge: the second pot that Foofus brewed seemed bitter and harsh by
comparison. At this point a brusque gentleman smoking a cigar
arrived, and asked for some coffee. In previous Coffee Wars, one
of the categories of judgement was "tastes good with a cigarette."
None of the core judges were smokers this year, but we can all say
with confidence that neither of these coffees tasted better while
second-hand smoking a stogie. I generally don't mind the smell of
a cigar, but in the morning, and in the heat, it was quite
So, there we were. A total of four pots of coffee. Cups were
given out to a number of people, but most didn't hang around to
let their impressions be recorded. Some tried to pay us for the
coffee, but we declined. One guy saw the CoffeeWars 3.0 sign,
and thought it meant that coffee was $3. He actually
tried to give us $3 for a cup of coffee!
What a nut! That's robbery even by the lamest of coffee-shop
But I digress. There were two rounds of coffee combat, and two
different results. Foofus came out ahead in the first, and Mark
in the second. In the absense of any objectively agreeable means
of making a decision, and in the interests of goodwill, we declared
a tie. A final toast was offered in honor of all the previous
CoffeeWars participants who couldn't be there, and we packed up.