[Column] The Enigma of Synthetic Coffee [1200 words]

This week’s article deals with the topic of synthetic coffee, as it recently dawned on me that we don’t actually know that much about it. Sure, it’s one of New Eden’s most widespread drinks, loved by trillions, but the individual packaging itself gives very little information about who’s producing it, where it’s being produced, and even who’s transporting it. In researching this article, I even purchased a massive 2,500kg container of Synthetic Coffee to see if the packaging would have any actual clues— no luck.

So we’re left with a mysterious drink with an unknown origin. I know we live in an era of ruthless megacorporations doing whatever they want, but the fact that we just accept this Synthetic Coffee as being part of our lives without a second thought is deeply troubling. Think about it: if there’s no one we can trace the production of this coffee to, who can be held liable in the event something happens with their coffee? There’s not even an ingredient list on either of these containers, so we’re just left with complete and utter faith that whoever is producing this coffee has the customer’s best interests at heart.

But come on, this is New Eden. If you’ve been paying attention to the recent history and ongoing war between the Gallente Federation and Caldari State, then you should already know that megacorporations are not to be trusted. Now, I’m not saying that the Caldari are responsible for the production or transportation of this coffee, but it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. But more importantly, if we don’t know who’s making this stuff or who even delivers it across New Eden, then it could be anyone— including our enemies. While I’m sure it would possibly be a relief to learn that the Jovians were behind all of this, the fact remains that it could just as easily be one of the biggest pirate factions— or worse, the Triglavians.

After all, a recurring theme across the history of New Eden is the tried-and-true trope of introducing an ignorant population to some wonderfully ruinous drug to make a fortune, and Synthetic Coffee could very well be the most ambitious version of that scheme yet. Of course, I freely acknowledge that this is all a bit spurious, as we have very little evidence to go off on.

But what if we had all the evidence we needed?

It’s right there in the name: Synthetic Coffee. Think about it. What does the name make you think of when you hear it? If you’re like the vast majority of people, you probably just think that it’s referring to artificial coffee. And if you’re one of the richer snobs around, you probably think that the real thing is better. But you see, there is no “real thing” — there is only Synthetic Coffee. And for those doubting my words, I ran numerous searches for coffee and coffee-adjacent terminology in Jita, but there was only Synthetic Coffee.

So if there’s no actual coffee to be had, we are left with Synthetic Coffee. But if this is the only coffee product to be had in New Eden, why label it synthetic? In an age of barely-regulated capitalism, surely the enigmatic producer behind this product could just call it coffee? Could the original coffee truly be that much better than what we have now?

At present, I do not know.

But I’d like to put forward a theory I’ve recently come up with regarding this subject. The crux of this theory is straightforward: Synthetic Coffee is not referring to artificial coffee, but who is the coffee is for. Namely, synthetics. While the conspiracies about synthetics replacing humans in New Eden have never really gone away, I would like to suggest an alternative target demographic for Synthetic Coffee: Drones.

I know, it sounds crazy. But think about it: the Rogue Drone scourge continues to plague us, and their influence only seems to be increasing with time, no matter how many times ardent capsuleers annihilate their strongholds. Even the recent capture of Old Man Dagan has done nothing to slow them down.

But hear me out: when was the last time you saw what your drones were doing when they weren’t deployed? While they’re probably doing nothing, can any of us really say that’s the case 100% of the time? Even when we all black out for a few minutes at the same time every day? And to say nothing of the millions of abandoned drones, left behind by capsuleers on their perilous voyages across the stars, what are they doing? And more importantly, why do these lost drones collectively disappear at the same time every day?

Thus, I posit that they’re somehow involved in the production, transportation, and/or the consumption of Synthetic Coffee. The wide usage of drones across New Eden (rogue or otherwise) could perfectly explain how Synthetic Coffee is so widely available without any corporation being knowingly involved. So if we suppose that drones are involved somehow, what’s their goal? What impact does drinking Synthetic Coffee have on organic beings?

I shudder at the possibilities.

Recall that we do not know who produces this Synthetic Coffee, and that we do not even know what is in it. Sure, it’s allegedly “made out of dried, roasted and ground seeds”, but can we say with absolute certainty that is all that went into it? To continue the line of questioning into what makes this coffee synthetic to begin with, what additives and preservatives could they be adding without telling us? Where are these beans being grown and processed at?

But these questions pale in comparison to the biggest one of all: why hide the truth?

And I’ll tell you why: because they don’t want you to know. Whether it’s a question of who their target demographic is (everybody, drones, synthetics), what’s actually in this coffee that makes it synthetic, or even who’s producing it, we as consumers have no idea about any of this.

We’re completely in the dark, and that ain’t right.

To that end, even if you don’t believe in some or all of what I’ve talked about in this article, I hope we can all agree that we need more accountability and transparency for the origins of Synthetic Coffee. Thus, I implore everyone to convey their frustrations in writing to the Council of Coffee Product (CCP) based out of the trading hub in Jita, so that we can help cause some real change in New Eden.

And as always, be sure to subscribe to catch the latest articles as soon as they drop! For next week’s story, I’ll be tentatively writing more about this allegedly authentic crate of coffee that’s rumored to be in Abhazon. But if that doesn’t work out, you can still look forward to my next write-up on New Eden’s livestock and how it affects you.

If you want to help support future articles, you can become a donor on my Spacetreon page. Especially generous donors will even be able to choose an author-approved topic for a future article. If you’ve got a hot tip about something I might not be aware about, don’t be a stranger and send me a message.

-Gil

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Naturally, please do not repost or plagiarize the above work without giving proper credit.

I wrote the above for a writing contest, but feel free to share comments or other feedback here. It’s a one-off, so I’m not really planning on following up with more articles unless there’s enough comedic value or someone actually wants to commission something. I may dabble in war propaganda, though I am between corporations right now and do not have a good excuse to do so. But maybe one day…

And of course, please write to your Council of Coffee Product to demand better transparency

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Every turn in this story was a left and I think it’s wonderful.

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