In America you can buy bucket-sized cups of coffee in any flavour you like other than coffee-flavour.
– quote by Josephine Baker.
I was on the hunt for some decent coffee and beans while in Boston and I stumbled upon this article on Boston.com that got me all fired up.
I realise this thread was 4 years old but it still comes up featured on the coffee week page of the Boston newspaper. I’m in the midst of a trip back to the U.S.A. after a couple of years and still struggling to find an acceptable cup o’ joe outside central metro areas (I’m happy to see the best independent coffee houses in Boston article and look forward to checking out some of the winners starting with Blue State Coffee and a haunt I’ve been in the past – Pavement.) Currently I’m listening to a drip machine at the only local roastery where I am (no need to mention names as it’s an iconically sad and repeatable experience) burning and boiling away any remaining flavour in the liquid and replacing it with a bitter burnt pre and after taste I’m about to confirm out of an attempt at respect for my host I’ve travelled to see.
Spend some time out of this country and you realise it’s the brunt of so many bad coffee jokes around the world. Thankfully they eventually drove Starbucks out of my current home in Australia with their over roasted, over sugared concoctions to cover up the mediocrity. Drip coffee in general has got to be the worst insult to coffee beans I’ve ever encountered — and I use to partake of it like it was meant to be. If you can’t at least palate your coffee black but have to immediately preempt that with multiple teaspoons of sugar and milk to make it so (rather than a flavour variance choice), you need to look elsewhere, seriously. Thankfully I finally did 35 years in to my life. Yes, I’m a reformed drip coffee drinker – the worst kind!
Later on in years I discovered the beauty, complexity and nuances of making pourover, chemex, aeropress, espresso: the feel of the grind in congruence with the kind of brew, the differing flavour profiles of these processes, the choice of beans, the affects of water temperature and humidity and so on, did I say the importance of a perfect and fresh grind? most important. Now you may not wish to concern yourself with learning and mastering all these intricacies, but if you haven’t at least experienced coffee by a barista that does, for the love of revealing to your mouth all the layers upon layers of complementary flavour elementals that can come from this glorious bean when properly prepared, then you are doing your mouth a serious disservice. Boot kick your drip machine to the curb (you don’t need to spend a lot of money or time, get a $5 pourover mug top or an amazing $30 Aeropress), avoid these 2 coffee hating chains like the zombie plague they are, and become a coffee lover for the first time in your life no matter what age or level of experience you are.
By the gods of Arabica and Robusta wake up America!