From everything we’re hearing, folks are drinking a lot more coffee at home these days. While many of us already enjoy preparing our favorite brew at home, to drink from our favorite mug in our favorite spot, for some of us this is a new morning ritual.
Now that I’m preparing my own cup of coffee more often, I’ve become a bit more thoughtful about what I put in my mug along with that coffee. When I was standing in line and ordering from a menu, it was so easy to grab my coffee (with a whole lot more than just coffee in it) and go, without thinking twice. But now that I’m doing it for myself, I find that I’m pausing and thinking about what I’m adding to my coffee, and why.
I’ve discovered that I really like the flavor of my coffee – my unadorned, black coffee. I find that I’m actually tasting the coffee. Not the cream or milk. Not the sugar. Not the flavor shot. But the taste of real coffee, the nuanced flavors that exert themselves at the front, middle, and lingering finish of every sip.
And here’s the thing: every coffee is so different. Different regions, different blends, different roasts. Every different coffee I’ve tried is a new awakening. I was drinking Cameron’s Velvet Moon just a couple weeks ago. It’s a full-bodied dark roast, with a rich, roasty flavor, velvety smooth like the name suggests. When that was gone I switched over to Cameron’s Woods & Water, a light roast that’s much brighter in flavor, citrusy, more nuanced but with just as much flavor going on, just in a very different way.
This black coffee thing has really become a lot of fun! This morning I brewed a pot of Cameron’s 100% Colombian. It was different from either of the others, a medium roast with a very balanced, smooth and creamy flavor.
And another thing: I like the fact that I’m not adding all the fat and calories I used to add every day (or ask for at the counter). It was once an occasional treat, but had become an expensive habit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely ok to treat yourself sometimes!
- Start with great coffee. Make sure it’s 100% specialty grade Arabica.
- Make sure the coffee isn’t over-roasted. You know them when you taste them. A lot of coffees out there tend to be roasted very dark, probably to cut through all that stuff that’s so often added. Over-roasting causes scorching and bitterness.
- Try different roast levels. Light roasts don’t have the roastiness of a good dark roast, but they make up for it with more of the flavor of the coffee bean itself.
- Experiment. Read the flavor descriptors, and try something new that sounds interesting!
I have found the switch to black coffee to be eye-opening and fun. I love to actually taste the coffee, and I love the flavor variety of the different coffees I’m trying. I’m finding favorites that have more to do with the coffee itself and less to do with what’s being added. I feel better about what I’m drinking every morning, and I don’t think I’m going back!