This is about real coffee. You know, the kind that comes in the form of beans, runs through a machine (or a mortar and pestle, if you’re into that) and is freshly ground, emitting heavenly scents with every whiff you take. This is for all the people without a coffee-maker.
1) Stop punishing your taste buds. Let’s face it—real java tastes better than the instant kind. Don’t have a coffee maker ? Get a French Press. Not only are these relatively cheap and all over Craigslist, but they add more body (see below) to your blend. You can even make your own with a pitcher and a plate with holes in it. If someone asks what it is, just say you’re building a fake UFO to trick aliens into landing on your window-sill. If they show up, you can welcome them with a classic cuppa joe.
2) Buy fair trade. We are all struggling, but our struggles are more or less first-world problems. They are not so bad compared to the people who grow and harvest coffee beans in developing countries. Are you really going to miss that extra 80 cents ? Just skip dessert and buy some quality brew instead. Almost every brand has its own version of fair trade so that you can support decent working conditions and sip without guilt.
3) Consider body, aroma, and fruitiness. These three factors don’t really matter with instant coffee, which often has fake flavoring and chemicals in it.
Body refers to the way the liquid feels in your mouth. Is it light, full, heavy, stale, syrupy, watery ?
Aroma is the flavoring in the coffee. Java is often described as spicy, while aged coffee is musty or woody with a cellar-like aftertaste. Herbal coffee is earthy and can be a bit bitter, depending on the tones. In general, the higher the altitude, the earthier the tones.
Fruity coffee is usually from Africa. It’s slightly sweet with a high acidity, and it’s not ‘chick coffee’. Anyone that tells you so is a narrow-minded coffee snob.
4) Travel the world through your coffee mug. No, I’m not talking about some Alice in Wonderland type trip. I’m talking the Andes mountains, the Hawaiian groves, the Sumatran foothills. Leaving your comfort zone has never been so easy.
Arabica blend is not from Arab countries. It originated in Ethiopia and Yemen and spread to Europe because of colonization. Some punk stole a plant from Louis XIV’s garden and hid it on a boat heading to enslave the people of Martinique. From then on, Arabica plants would be harvested by the natives in the Caribbean and South America.
Peru and Jamaica (Blue Mountain) have low acidity blends, while Costa Rica’s is much more acidic. If you have acid reflux, stick with tea.
Africa is the birthplace of coffee, but it tends to have Robusto blend because of the rough weather conditions, although it does still have Harrar, Moka, and the famous Kilamanjaro blend as well.
Hawaii’s most well-known varieties are Kona and Java, both of which have smooth, full-bodied flavor and hints of local spices.
India is famous for Mysore, which is dark, acidic, and really popular in Great Britain. Rich, thick Sumatran Mandheling is also popular with the Brits. If you’ve only ever had Arabica, you should try Mandheling–it’s the exact opposite in terms of body and texture.
5) Experience oral Kama Sutra. Aside from all the different blends, the variations on coffee are endless. From Freddies to Americanos to Turkish coffees to espressos, let your mood dictate your palatal pleasure. Just make sure to keep moans to a minimum when you’re in public.
6) Stress less. By now I’m sure many of us have read at least one study in the health section of the newspaper explaining that women who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day are less likely to become depressed and have a longer lifespan than those that don’t, making this one addiction that might not be so unhealthy after all.