Name: Mexican Altura Coatepec
Preparation: Freshly ground, French-pressed, sipped black
In general parlance, to say that "there is nothing special about" something is to offer a negative remark. Usually it is not the most scurrilous of insults, but nobody would mistake it for a compliment.
And indeed, in the case of the Mexican Altura Coatepec from McNulty's, I am not overly enthused. Other than in the nose, which is exceedingly complex - earthiness, florals, nuttiness, smoke, all synthesized into one grand note - there is nothing sophisticated about this coffee. The flavor is mild, with a little acid, and not very particular on any note at all. There is nothing special about it.
But none of that, in this case, is to say that the coffee is not good. First of all, it is quite smooth, and as the sip becomes a swallow, it grows from medium-bodied to full-bodied in a very delightful way. Second of all - and the craft coffee community will kindly resist the temptation to go apoplectic here - most people who drink coffee do not really care about what coffee tastes like. My readers may care, I certainly care, and I even spend a good part of my day encouraging others to care. But most people brewing a potta' Joe in their Mr. Coffee machines or Keurigs or whatever, to have a quick cup with breakfast or to serve with cigarettes and gossip for an afternoon, are more than happy with "it tastes like coffee and it doesn't suck". And why would they not have such an attitude? Such folks are more than likely to load up the cup with so much milk and sugar and fancy-schmancy-mocha-caramel-whatever-syrup and, of course, whiskey and Irish cream that it is amazing that there is any room left for the darn coffee in the first place. And you know what? More power to them. We like coffee; they like whiskey and sugar. And the world keeps on spinning.
Anyhow, the Mexican Altura Coatepec, being as it is not emanating with powerful florals, pungent fruits, or (as in a dark roast) leaden charcoal, makes for a perfect blank slate upon which the sweet-toothed masses can concoct their favorite morning grogs or preferred afternoon drinking candies, and call it coffee. It will be faux coffee - it will taste like anything but coffee - and it will be delicious and make for good times, I am sure.