We at TheShot may peruse the Internet for headlines, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up on the printed word. So we took notice of our citation in the latest issue of a local neighborhood paper, Glen Park News: Glen Park News – Summer 2007 [2.9 MB PDF file, page 17]. Although we appreciate the mention, the article also provided more disturbing evidence of the quantity-as-quality problem that so afflicts the American psyche — and SF is no exception.

In an article espousing the urban amenity virtues of Glen Park:

CoffeeRatings.com is a site for aficionados, nay, fanatics, who obsess over every detail that goes into their cup of java, from the aroma and brightness of the brew to the barista, the equipment and the coffee cup itself. Tops in Glen Park, and seventh overall in the whole city (rating: 8.0) is Café Bello.

All well and good. But earlier in the very same article, the author zeroed in on favorable comments from Burritoeater.com about the sheer size of a local burrito made in 2005. As if more of a bad burrito somehow makes it better:

Burritoeater.com rates La Corneta no.8 in the city, giving it 8.4 OMRs (Overall Mustache Ratings): “Anytime a burrito’s this long and hefty, someone behind the counter is doing something right.”

(As personal fans of Burritoeater.com, we’ve noticed how their rating system has gone “multi-dimensional” in the past year — including criteria such as burstage abatement and intangibility bonus over the usual “mustache rating”. We can only hope that CoffeeRatings.com‘s obsessive-compulsive disorder has inspired parody rather than another tragic victim here.)

Not only was Burritoeater.com remiss in making such a comment, but the article’s author dug it out to promote a local taqueria. It’s this fundamental inability to tell the difference between quality and quantity that’s at the root of America’s pathetic espresso standards. In the nation of the 46-ounce Super Big Gulp®, home to coffee atrocities such as Caffe Cardinale’s two-hour mug, is there any wonder why our nation’s waistlines are growing faster than our polar ice caps are shrinking? (Coincidence?! We think not.)

As long as the likes of consumer rating sites such as Yelp and the people who use them are motivated by something other than quality — with reviewers often confusing portion size with quality (as they did with this È Tutto Qua example) — espresso quality in America will continue to suck. Until we can culturally break free from this copious entitlement mentality, the gold standard for consumption will come in a Costco-sized bucket, larger than your head, tasting like the bitter, watery, coal-like muck left over from when the CDF puts out a illegal campfire.

But who cares about quality when you’re staring at a trough you can bathe in, right?!

Who's up for a double-tall, four-pump vanilla caramel macchiato?