Coffee’s Uncanny Valley

by Joey deVilla on July 24, 2012

Coffee’s great when it’s hot or when it’s iced, but when it’s in that middle ground — the uncanny valley — between the two, it’s downright terrible.

The uncanny valley is a computer graphics term for that zone where replicas of humans, such as computer-animated characters or robots lie look and act almost, but not quite like real human beings. The valley is that zone between a cartoon-like approximation of human appearance and behaviour on one end and perfect human appearance and behaviour on the other. In the uncanny valley, the imitation is just “off” enough to look wrong or creepy. Examples of the uncanny valley include the robotic women in The Stepford Wives, whose behaviour was a little too much like a social conservative’s fantasies, and the way the human characters were rendered in the computer-animated film The Polar Express.

Found via “Coffee”.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jake July 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

I can’t remember what date that strip ran, but Dave Kellett who writes Sheldon ( is a coffee fiend.

Kristian July 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Am I alone in happily drinking cold coffee? Maybe it’s that I don’t take milk…

Milan Davidović July 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but I find coffee I’ve made with my AeroPress to be quite drinkable even when it has gone cold. Have you tried using one yet?

Kaleberg July 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm

What’s wrong with cold coffee? I drink it all the time and like it. I think the flavor ripens sitting in my mug, and it’s easier to taste when it’s cooler.

It’s not worth reheating coffee. Reheated coffee is usually worse than hot coffee or cold coffee.

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