I’ve been thinking a lot about coffee. No surprise there – it’s one of the perils of operating a roasters and a “problem” I embrace willingly. When I’m not roasting, making, and drinking our own coffee, I’m reading about the history, origin, and place coffee holds in the worlds economy. It’s an obsession that is years old and only growing.
Coffee is an amazing fruit. Originating in Africa, it has spread across the equatorial regions of the world and now has more than a hundred different recognized varietals. Region, type, processing, and roasting all affect the flavor in coffee. You can find a coffee that fits almost every taste without adding artificial flavoring oils or gimmicks.
The first challenge with any green coffee is finding the perfect roast – the combination of time and temperature that leads to the peak aroma and flavor. Once you get away from the mass produced, grocery/box store coffees, you find the artisans. Each and every roaster has a unique esthetic; the range of flavors that we think make a coffee worth bringing to market. Analogous to wines, small batch coffee is like wine from a small vineyard. A coffee roaster, like a wine maker, brings his or her own sense of taste to making the perfect roast.
When you find the perfect roast, the next step is the brew. Pour overs, drip pots, French Press, cold brew, Espresso, siphon pots, Ibrik, Bialetti Moka, Mexican Cafe de Olla, cowboy coffee, percolators, Aeropress… there is an array of ways to make coffee each resulting with it’s own unique flavor and characteristic. All of them have their own time and place.
At home, at our shop. or when I’m on the road, I think the best way to enjoy a great coffee is to go simple. Find a great coffee and let it shine in the cup. A well made pour over, an Aeropress shot, or a good cup of drip coffee will give you coffee at it’s most open. Taste the work the farmer put into growing the crop, the washing station put into processing the bean, and the attention the roaster puts into bringing the coffee from parchment to the perfect roast. No fancy brewing equipment. No fancy airs, foams, syrups. Just hot water, a good coffee, and the right combination of time and technique.
Whether it’s at Night Kitchen or your favorite local coffee shop, give simple a try.
Sometimes it should be about just plain coffee.