I like green tea: the thick, opaque stuff you drink in the ceremonies. But then I’ve been drinking my coffee black since I was a teenager and the more cocoa solids in my chocolate the better. I’ve got a taste for bitter things and matcha just floats my boat. What I don’t like, however, is green tea flavoured things.
“This mouthful tastes a little… Well, like nothing much at all, really.
“And this second doesn’t really add anything to that. Might as well have another to check.
“No, there actually is a taste there, and it’s… I dunno. Maybe one more…
“Oh, it’s not nice at all is it? Is it? Let’s make sure though.
“Yes. Yes, that’s really bad. Take it away. Take it away now please. What do you mean I’ve had too much to get a refund?”
At this point I would usually pull the old ‘trendy vicar’ Thought For The Day bait-and-switch and tell you how this slow-reveal unpleasantness is very much like
I think, perhaps, the reason I don’t go for the matcha doughnuts and the like is that the conversion process from drink to other comestible usually strips away the one thing I like most about it: that mouth-puckering, astringent bitterness. I don’t know that this is inherent in the process or, more likely, a deliberate act on the part of the manufacturers in order to make for a more widely appreciable product. There’s your metaphor if you want it, I suppose, the homogenizing beigeification of consumer society.
Or we could talk about English, instead: how the utilitarian pressures on the language as a lingua franca inevitably strip it of all its more intricate elements such as ambiguity and beauty and poetry and reduce it to a dull code predicated on filling slots and ticking boxes; how the plurality of individual potential meanings is lost to the brute simplification imposed by the global marketplace.
Or maybe culture: how, in order to appeal beyond its originating locale, the transition from specialized local variants to widespread facsimiles of the same must as a matter of course remove the very aspect which made the original notable in the first place; how commodification axiomatically neuters that which it seeks to commodify.
Or we could even talk about thought and elitism: how the laudable desire to explain complex ideas simply tends to simplify both the language and the ideas themselves, and that specialized knowledge is by its very nature will always be at least partially unavailable to those with no taste for its acquisition, to those who are content with diluted versions of the original source and are, more importantly, incapable of telling the difference between the two.
Or perhaps it’s better if we just left it there. Looking at the bigger picture is all well and good but sometimes it’s OK to spend a bit of time concentrating on the trees and letting the wood take care of itself. At uni one of the guys who regularly colonized the same corner of the library as me used to go through his notes and highlight pretty much everything, which to my mind kind of defeated the point. If you highlight everything then that’s not a highlight, if you see meaning everywhere then it’s all essentially meaningless, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and I really, really don’t like matcha flavoured Kit Kats.