Just outside Washington D.C. in Arlington, Virginia, local mini-chain Murky Coffee will not serve espressos on ice. “I’m sorry...it’s against our policy.” According to Murky Coffee, diluting the espresso will compromise the integrity of the coffee, and that's "not cool," as one barista told an agitated customer.
"Touching a waitress’s chest is not okay. Pouring the coffee onto the floor instead of the cup is not okay." But according to blogger Jeff Simmermon behind And I Am Not Lying, requesting ice should be okay. Once the skirmish reached popular blogs, Murky Coffee owner Nick Cho responded, arguing for the "craft of coffee." While Starbucks or another corporate coffee chain might serve the ice without flinching, he doesn't want Murky Coffee's top-notch beans to taste like a "ghetto latte."
Who are these mythical coffee gods we must please? Should customer satisfaction always win? Or did Simmermon cross the line when he left this passive-aggressive note on a dollar in the Murky Coffee tip jar? The coffee debacle recalls a classic moment in Five Easy Pieces, the 1970 film where Jack Nicholson reminds his waitress, "you've got bread, and a toaster of some kind, right?" So why can't you make some darn toast? Nicholson probably wouldn't settle for ice-less espressos either.