“Coffee Innovation”. If there were ever two words that make me shudder in fear and cause my taste buds to roll up and die, those two could well be it. And so those two words arose today in an article that reported “coffee manufacturers have been working on new and improved ways to serve coffee”: Drinks Business Review Focuses On Coffee Innovation @ Vending Market Watch News at AMonline.com.

Let’s see, according to the cited article … we have the hot beverage vending machine that heats up and shoots out beverages in aluminum cans. We have instant coffee that comes in a cube for dissolving in water or milk — and comes in lovely flavors such as “brandy” and “amaretto”. (Words of wisdom: avoid coffee products with names that sound like pole-dancing strippers.) We have the introduction of the EZ Grip Lid from Big Four member, Kraft Foods. (More words of wisdom: avoid coffee products that sound like they belong in a Ron Popiel informercial.)

All that coffee innovation just makes me think of last week’s New York Times Magazine article by Michael Pollan. Classic good food just doesn’t sell with modern product marketing techniques. Superficial gimmicks are much more profitable for food marketers. As a result, none of these companies will ever bother to make better coffee. There isn’t much money in that. Rather, their profits lie in making your basic good cup of espresso seem boring and outdated — getting you to instead spend your dollars on short-attention-span flash and synthetic frippery.

So please: try our new Frippoccino™. New and improved, you ask? At least for our accountants, perhaps.