GOOD Coffee Isn't - #1

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I like good coffee. That’s a little pickier than it first sounds. You see, I like GOOD coffee.

GOOD coffee depends on just two factors: GOOD coffee beans & GOOD preparation.

From time to time I'll drop an entry here about what I think makes GOOD coffee and why most coffee sucks. I'll try to limit my polemics but you have to know that I'll be finding it hard to do, so there will be many of these spread out over time. I'll separate them into what GOOD coffee is and isn't. Let's start with some isn'ts (did I just invent a new word?)

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GOOD coffee doesn’t come from a can - ever. Hardly anything good to eat ever comes from a can, if you think about it. Freshly roasted coffee gives of CO2 for a few days after roasting. It's part of the bean's reaction to roasting and it helps produce body and rich flavor. If the manufacturers canned fresh coffee, the cans would expolde at some point from the CO2 gas; so they let grind it and let it "stale" for a while before canning. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? If that doesn't bother you, please don't invite me for dinner. Your coffee probably sucks, anyway.

GOOD coffee isn't ever pre-ground - ever. Coffee goes completely stale within an hour after being ground. Even if you use one of those grinders in the market, your coffee is stale by the time you get it home. Worse, it's probably been contaminated by candy-coffee (see below) that was ground just before you arrived. And who knows what some snot-nosed kid has thrown in the machine when you weren't looking. Really... think about it...

GOOD coffee doesn’t come from Starbucks - ever. Starbucks coffee is over-roasted to the point where you loose all the taste of the coffee variety and just taste the "Charbucks" style of roast. People who tell you that they don't like Starbucks coffee because it is "too strong" are are right not to like it but wrong as to why. As coffee roasts the natural sugars start to carmelize, adding sweetness and flavor. Roasted too long, the sugar turns to carbon. Those "too strong" folks are really tasting the carbonized remains of the beans. I give you dispensation to use a Starbucks in an emergency. I do. But I wash my mouth out with GOOD coffee when I get home. I do.

GOOD coffee isn’t flavored - ever. Hazelnut, eggnog, almond, Irish crème, and chocolate orange are for candy, not coffee. Have a piece along with your GOOD coffee, but don’t muck up your brew with chemo-flavor. Candy-coffee is for people who don't like coffee. If you like candy coffee, I'll just have to think less of you. (But by now you probably aren't surprised that I would...)

More to come...

2 Comments

I've just recently acquired one a them grinder/brew combos and look forward to easing off of the jet fuel (pre-ground and canned I'm afraid) that begins my days.

After drinking Starbucks, I always feel taste-impaired for several hours. This is one part said burnt flavor and another part extreme heat ala the Kramer-from-Seinfeld lawsuit. When Starbucksing is a must, I always insist upon asking for a SMALL, MEDIUM, or LARGE. I fear the ubiquity of Starbucks will have us describing our shirt sizes as Grande in years to come...

You may have started down a slppery slope. Once I decided to upgrade the quality of my coffee consumption, making it my one and only vice, it quickly escalated. I now roast my own beans and miserably suffer through most anything served outside my home. Being a coffee snob fits in well with some of my other elitist attitudes.

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This page contains a single entry by published on January 10, 2004 5:45 PM.

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