…it left me thinking about why we drink coffee.
A couple months ago, as I stood in the office kitchen brewing a cup of coffee, an engineer walked in and skeptically eyed my efforts.
“That looks like a lot of work”, he said, as I leaned on my Aeropress. I explained that I was bit of a geek and tended to really get into things that I enjoy.
Barely taking his eyes off of me, he poured himself a cup of drip, added powdered creamer, and stirred his cup. Still staring at me, he said “Done. This is faster.” He then turned and walked out of the kitchen.
The interaction was slightly uncomfortable, and a little bit comical, but it left me thinking about why we drink coffee.
Certainly, the answer varies from person to person, but I have to imagine that most would list caffeine, the comfort of a warm cup, and taste. Or at least… I hope taste makes your list!
…why drink coffee that you don’t like?
I said it a moment ago, and I’ll admit it again: I’m a geek. I wish I could say that was limited to coffee, but it isn’t. Looking back at my high school days, I used to recall myself as one of the “cool kids”. Then one day, as I was creating a spreadsheet to help me decide on the purchase of some random product, I realized that my perception of the past might not be accurate.
Now that we’ve established that I’m a coffee geek, and a geek in general, let’s establish something else: I am not a coffee snob. There have been a few instances where my enthusiasm for craft coffee (and craft beer) has been mistaken for signs of snobbery. I always say: drink what you enjoy. I might prefer a cup of One Line’s Ethiopian in the morning, and a glass of Zombie Dust in the evening, but it doesn’t bother me in the least when a friend prefers Folgers and Bud Light. Personally, I have no problem grabbing a cup of coffee from McDonald’s when I’m traveling or, better yet, Chick-fil-A when it’s available. Neither are my favorite, but I can enjoy either.
But here’s where people loose me: why drink coffee that you don’t like? Around my office, I’ve heard countless comments on how awful our office coffee tastes… from people who continue to drink it! They throw in some creamer and sugar, and then wince as they take a sip and walk back to their cube.
…drink what you enjoy!
If you believe that all coffee tastes bitter and sour, you’ve been deceived! If you think that those of us who drink their coffee black are nuts… well, that may or may not be true, but black coffee can be smooth and delicious!
Don’t settle for crude that you just suffer through to get the caffeine. If you’re going to drink coffee, you might as well enjoy the taste. If you find yourself making a funny face with every sip of your morning cup, I’m talking to you. It can be better. I can actually be good!
While coffee geeks like myself tend to jump into things with two feet, you can start by just dipping your toe. Grab yourself some good beans and a little Third Wave Water, and brew with whatever coffee making apparatus you have. And prepare to be surprised.
If you are broadening your coffee horizons for the first time, pay close attention to the roast. As a black coffee drinker, I love light roasts. While light roasts have less intense flavor, they have a far broader spectrum of flavor. And they have a little more caffeine, which doesn’t hurt my feelings either. On a side note: if you typically add cream and sugar to your robust coffee, I suggest adding a little less when trying a light roast.
So how about you? Are you enduring or enjoying your coffee?