I can be very, and I mean VERY particular

As mentioned many, many times on this blog, say it with me,  I am NOT really a coffee drinker. I just like a little coffee flavor in my milk :)
However, I am very particular about that “little flavor”.

You probably think that with all the milk in the coffee, I won’t be able to actually really taste the coffee and to some degree that might be true (you know how “bad coffee” can be saved with a little bit of milk?!), BUT, I argue that even though at least half of my coffee mug is filled with milk, I can exactly tell you if the other half, the coffee, is any good.

By now, I have also created a list of the places at which I will definitely, only-if-I-really-feel-like-some or definitely not drink coffee in the future. Seriously, some places brew a really mean cup of joe :(

It is definitely worth investing a little bit of money to get some decent tasting coffee and not buy the pre-ground coffee from the grocery store. Many people seem to be used to getting inexpensive, bad-tasting coffee, but this does not have to be the case. Buying coffee beans and grinding them yourself makes a BIG difference, for example, and coffee grinders are really inexpensive these days.

There are many different coffee roasts. Let’s go through the options, shall we?

Very Dark – Black surface covered with oil.  All subtle nuances are gone, aroma is minor, and body is thin.  This roast is characteristic of American espresso.

Dark – Deep brownish/black color.  The bean has spots of oil or is completely oily. Subtle nuances are diminished.  Flavor decreases, while body dominates.

Medium – Dark – Rich brown color.  Very small droplets of oil appear on surface.  The acidity is slowly diminished and body is most potent.  This is the ideal roast for a well blended espresso.

Medium – Medium brown color. The acidity continues to increase and the body becomes more potent. The bean is mostly dry.

Medium – Light – Medium light brown color. The acidity brightens and body increases slightly. The bean is still dry.

Light – Light brown to cinnamon color. Low body and light acidity. The beans are dry. This roast is too light and does not allow the coffee to develop to its full potential.

So, when it comes to coffee, I am the “medium” type of girl.  I prefer the medium to medium-dark roasts and I like it “medium strong”.
To be honest, there is only a very narrow threshold for me between perfect coffee and bad coffee (which can go either direction – too strong or too weak). I know, I am picky like that.

You’re probably wondering why the hell I am rambling on about something like this. The reason is: my co-worker makes really bad coffee.
And I don’t do well starting my day off with bad coffee.
Since I usually am the first person at the office in the morning that rarely becomes a problem, because I’ll make the coffee myself (and have been complimented on the taste of it by my other co-worker, I’d like to add).
However, occasionally when I run a little late in the morning, my co-worker gets to the office first and makes the coffee and every time that happens I clench my teeth and promise myself that I’ll get up earlier again.

I am not sure if the reason is that both my co-workers drink their coffee black and therefore like a “weaker’ brew, but I swear, if he makes the coffee and I pour it into my milk I can hardly see any color change. It’s basically lightly tinted brown water. And seriously, that is disgusting. It dilutes the milk and just tastes “thin” and awful.
I’ve tried to use less milk with that thin of a kind of coffee, but that seems to make it worse, because it thins down the whole drink even more. I need to taste the creamy, thick texture of the milk while still having some bold coffee flavor.

Once, I asked him why he used such a little amount of coffee powder (like 1,5 table spoons) for almost a full pot of coffee and his response was “because I am cheap and I don’t use more than necessary”.
Well, what is “necessary” is a very subjective notion.
One more thing he doesn’t seem to understand is that a “dark roast” (we take turns buying coffee and he’s the only one who always buys the dark french roast) does not make “stronger” coffee. The coffee strength really only depends on the ratio between coffee powder and water! Just a hint!

Anyways, to cut a long story short: today I outsmarted him.
When I walked into our kitchen, the coffeemaker was already running, but it was not even a third of the way through… so I just added a little more coffee powder and voilá¡,  I had saved my day :)
I don’t think he even noticed (and if he did, he must have wondered what had happened to his measuring skills this morning ;)).

So yes, maybe I am a little picky, but I’d rather have no coffee than bad coffee.
Oh, and before I forget.
Also a big no-no with me: coffee that has sat for more than 4 hours (even in a thermal carafe) or heating up cold coffee in the microwave. That’s sickening. Just sayin’.

Are you particular with your coffee? How do you like your coffee best?

  1. Oh, this whole thing is so funny! I am exactly the same way and my husband IS LIKE YOUR COWORKER. So – on our countertop are dueling coffee pots because the coffee he “brews” is so disgusting I can barely stand to smell it.

    Good save on sneaking in more ground – that is definitely motivation to get there early!

  2. I usually drink coffee at home so I get to make it myself. But always fresh grinded – a medium roast I guess.. And in a coffee press. I hate machine coffee :-S

    Happy Saturday dear San!

  3. I am like you, I need lots of milk for my coffee (or just a little splash of coffee for my milk) hot milk, nice foam and loads of sugar…

    When I am downtown shopping I always stop at Starbucks, its my favourite. I am addicted since my Au Pair stay in the US. I actually worked there (here in DE) for a short while (coffee is great, working conditions suck, but oh well).

    They are really passionate about coffee, you are trained to taste different kinds and roasts, to immediately know where the coffee beans are from and what kinda food fits with the coffee. I hated the training because it is like a wine tasting, pure black coffee, sip it and spit it out…*shiver* but you learn a lot

    Try to ask at some local Starbucks, they usually have coffee tasings with guests, sometimes at particular times, sometimes even on demand. We had guests come in asking for help and would open a bag of fresh coffee for them and do a tasting right there. (maybe you should bring your co-worker during lunch break…) :)

  4. well, i can only agree i would rather have no coffee, although that would be hard in the morning, than a bad coffee. and you should have a talk with my man about that. he is soooo picky when it comes to espresso;-) i love grinding my beans myself since i love the smell.

  5. oh yeah – office coffee is a very difficult story. very difficult. but i have to say that i don’t think i’m quite as picky as you are. i mainly need the caffeine in the morning so i’d actually pick the not-so-great coffee over no coffee ;)

  6. office coffee is just naaaasty!!
    I only like coffee with flavored creamers. Not a big sofisticated coffee person…but something I wouldn’t mind getting into :)

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