J and I went out for coffee last week. I love going to coffee shops, hanging out, watching people being busy on their laptops, chatting with a friend, studying, reading, what have you.
Even though Germany has coffee shops now (and I wish that a) I had found my love for coffee when I was still going to school there and b) the coffee shop culture had actually existed back then), they’re not quite the same thing. As far as I know, there is no “hey-let’s-go-to-the-coffee-shop-and-whip-out-our-laptops-and-seem-extremely-busy-and-motivated”-mentality (correct me if I am wrong, dear German readers IN Germany!).
I know, it’s probably a little bit silly and all, but I also know that there are other people out there who get my love for American coffee shops.
Having said that, the coffee experience itself was mediocre at best. J and I were both super-disappointed with the coffee we had (I had a latte, he had a regular cup of joe). It was a little bit startling to take the first sip and not have this all-around-good-feeling that I was expecting. This was a place where we usually liked to get coffee. Granted, we hadn’t been in a while.
We actually went to Peet’s afterwards and had another cup of coffee there (almost just as awful, just for the record) just to test, if we have indeed become what we secretly feared: coffee snobs. I think we’ve seriously spoiled ourselves for bad coffee.
You know, I had this thought before: what makes you an actual coffee lover? The fact that you will drink any coffee, anywhere at anytime or the fact that you are very picky about your coffee, that you like it a certain way (and only a certain way) and would choose no coffee over bad coffee any day?
I fall in the latter camp. Obviously.
I started drinking coffee rather late (in my mid-twenties; where were you, coffee, when I tried to pull all-nighters in school?), but I’ve come to develop a deep love and appreciation for a good cup of coffee. It really is a comfort drink for me. Warm, soothing, calming. I could, but really don’t want to start my day without it.
The funny thing is: I LOVE coffee when it’s fresh, hot and brewed just right. I practically despise it, if it’s bitter, luke-warm or simply bad quality. There seriously is so much that you can do wrong when brewing coffee.
J and I found our coffee vice last summer in New England. Funnily, our vice is a coffee that is originally from the West Coast, not too far up north from where we live: Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, OR.
This is not a sponsored post in any way and I am just expressing my opinion, because it really has made a difference in our lives.
Unfortunately, they only sell their coffee through a handful of coffee shops around the country and online. And, as to be expected, it’s not cheap, but when it comes to quality things, my motto is “you get what you pay for”.
I am proud to call myself a coffee lover and then regularly get laughed at when people see how much milk/creamer (yes, I use both together!) I put in my coffee. But adding milk or not, you can TASTE if you’re having good coffee. I’d like to challenge you to a different mindset and ask:
Are you only worthy to be called a coffee lover if you drink your coffee strong and black?
Are you only worthy to be called a coffee lover if you drink any coffee, even the worst, cheapest, burned brew at a local diner?
Are you only worthy to be called a coffee lover if you manage to memorize your fancy order for the barista at Starbucks?
and this is my rationale;
are you worthy to be called a coffee lover when you know what a decent cup of coffee should taste like (regardless of how much creamer you put in) and take pride in the process of picking out quality coffee, preparing a freshly-ground pot and knowing ways to keep it fresh longer?
I wouldn’t call myself an expert by a long shot, but I do pay attention to a few basic rules. I use fresh, cold, filtered water, I (try to) grind beans freshly for every pot and I keep coffee in a thermos rather than have it sit on a hot plate. There is also something to be said about how you store your coffee, what kind of roast you buy, how much coffee powder you use, and the proper grinding for your brewing device. My co-worker, who (very questionably) is proud of calling himself “cheap”, is under the false impression that you can buy a darker roast, use less coffee powder and get the same result. WRONG.
I prefer to brew coffee twice (sometimes three times) a day than have it sit for too long or, even worse, microwave old coffee. Ewww. I believe that’s an absolute no-no, but yet I know more people than I care to admit who do that.
Good coffee does not need any sugar (which really just overpowers the flavor of the coffee itself and is often used to cover up unwanted bitterness) and I only add milk, because I like the creaminess that it adds to the beverage. Good coffee shouldn’t be bitter or acidic, but have a smooth aftertaste.
So tell me, are you a coffee snob? Are you picky about your coffee? Do you like your coffee a certain way?