Think about your opinion of coffee for a second. How many different flavours, textures and depths have you experienced? Maybe you don’t think that much of it. Maybe you think that it has a generic flavour, strong, deep and frankly unpalatable in espresso form. Then there are people that worship everything about a humble bean – like Jack.
To think that coffee is a one type generic drink is like thinking that every book contains the same story because it has a cover and contains some words, but anyone that has ever read a book knows that each is different and has different complexities. Each novel, by any author, give them the same story to tell, they’d tell it different. If they weren’t varied then ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘, may be mistaken for ‘Gray’s Anatomy‘ and surgery could be a whole different thing altogether. I don’t know about you but a hernia operation conducted by surgeons using whips, chains and an anaesthetist with a worrying grimace choking you to sleep, somehow, doesn’t appeal.
Red wine is a prime example of a deep complexity of flavour that diversifies with every grape-growing region around the world. A French burgundy tastes nothing like a New Zealand Pinot Noir for example. There are brands in shops that would lead you to believe that red wine is generic however. The more generic a commodity can be made, the more they sell by appealing to the masses and thus diluting the market.
Coffee in theory is exactly the same. Like a grape, each bean variety grown in varied regions around the world tastes absolutely different, dramatically. Roasting also diversifies flavours, depths and textures and, like wine, chains and the like on high streets in the UK and beyond would have you believe that their way, their brew, is the only way. It isn’t.
Go online, I beg you, and you will find the most diverse range of coffee you can imagine. A Honduran bean with hints of apricot and a medium roast. Brazilian coffee, with dark notes of chocolate, cheery and almond. Maybe Costa Rican tasting of stone fruits and chocolate? Honduran with cherry truffle? Brazilian, malt milk chocolate? Don’t get me wrong, you have to search for the flavours, this isn’t artificial. One thing you can extract from the off with any of these beans are their smoothness, texture and the attack on your senses. The realisation of trying coffee outside of a high-street chain is that it isn’t generic, not one bit, and you won’t look back.
This is just the tip of the coffee bean shaped iceberg that you’re about to hit. We haven’t even mentioned African or Asian coffees and brewing is a whole different experience – there will be a post on this too. Whether you choose to use a stove-top brewer, an espresso machine, a V60 dripper or one of the many other ways to make a steaming cup of Joe; use the same bean, the effect is different. That’s how diverse it can be. Try it, embrace your bean and be like Jack.