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GULLIBLE’S TRAVELS: Downtown coffee shops to adopt centralized brewing

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Satire brought to you by the fine mind of Kellyanne Conway’s dog.

June 9, 2020

Although many businesses have negative feelings about the scheduled Downtown Enhancement Project, there is one group that can’t wait to see it happen: coffee shops. They admit digging up all of Front Street, from Chestnut to Walnut streets, for six months will keep a lot of people away, but the coffee shops will see a huge boost when it’s done. I spoke with Ted Jitter, owner of Jitter’s CafeBasemenTorium, located under the post office, for some clarification.

Ted Jitter (TJ): Not a lot of people realized when phase one opened NC after COVID-19 a few years ago, it wasn’t just sewer, water, gas, electricity and communications that got a makeover. The Downtown Coffee Association also had a piece of the project. For years we have all realized it is inefficient for each of our cafes to be brewing our own coffee. We don’t have our own wells for drinking water or our own sewage disposal or electric generators. We share a common system. So why not a central coffee-brewing facility?

It’s just not practical for employees to take the time to brew each batch and then pour each cup. All those small production units multiply the maintenance issues. Once we get to phase three, the new 1,000-gallon-per-hour brewer in the rear of the old Masonic Temple Building will come online. Our high-pressure line will stretch from Walnut to Market. We’ve been able to access existing communications conduit to branch up to 2nd Street and serve Bespoke and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Kellyanne’s Dog (KD): That sounds like some innovative tech.

TJ: We learned a lot from the way crude oil from the tar sands of Northern Canada ends up in the gas tank of your car. Their model persuaded us to pump it all out as espresso under high pressure. Automatic machinery in each cafe will dilute or mix it to make cappuccinos, Americanos or whatever. All the barista has to do is top it with foam, sprinkles or whatever. They will also be getting 3D printers to do the fancy latte foam designs. A simple touchscreen can get you Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi, Jerry Garcia’s butt—any design you want.

KD: What about decaf? Do you have a parallel system? 

TJ: That’s where we stay old-school. Think about it: Is there any greater oxymoron than the phrase “a good cup of decaf”?  We will stick with our current system of bulk brew and deliver to each store in used 55-gallon oil drums once every two weeks. I’ll chop off my left nut if anyone can tell the difference in a blind taste test. It’s still just brown water.

KD: Some people might miss the hissing and percolating sounds, or the warm smell of java on a cold morning. 

TJ: Remember, we are talking about people who meet up with their friends only to spend an hour and a half staring at their smartphones. It’s not like they came in looking for a genuine experience. They could be in the waiting room of a tire repair shop in Rocky Point, for all they notice.



Some stores will get barista-at-work sound loops and automatic aerosol odor dispensers. Jitter’s is getting a full-sized, lifelike cow with a different kind of milk in each teat. There’s even one for soy! The teats have a lifelike feel when you squeeze,  for all those people who want a genuine experience. Every once in a while, the cow passes gas, and it’s set up to sound like a coffee percolator, and the fart smells like fresh Blue Mountain. Now that’s a real experience!

I think it will be a great kid-pleaser, because, clearly, the adults are all too busy updating their Facebook profiles to talk about what the kids have going on in their lives. And what kid doesn’t like anything to do with farts?

KD: Well, your industry has come a long way from when we used to sit down at the counter of Futrelle’s on 2nd and Princess and order the kind of coffee that won World War II.

TJ: World War II? Did I miss that while binge-watching “Tiger King”? There’s a lot going on.

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