Thursday, March 6, 2008


I don't like coffee. I really can't understand why anyone would choose to drink coffee when there are so many other good beverages out there. A little while ago, I wanted to see what it was about coffee that people liked so much. I have a Thursday morning Bible study that meets at a coffee shop, so one time, I decided to order myself a small cup of coffee. Oh man, was that horrible. It was like I drank a hot cup of burnt with a heaping spoonful of bitter mixed in. One of the guys that was there drinks coffee every day. I asked him why he drank it, and he said it was because he liked having a warm beverage in the morning. He didn't really like the taste, which is why he has to put sugar and cream in it. He's masking the bad taste of the coffee. Which is very puzzling to me. Why not start with a liquid that tastes good? Then you wouldn't have to cover up the bad taste. I guess it would make a little bit of sense if it was just something that a few people did. But almost everyone drinks coffee! Why do so many people drink this horrible beverage every day? And pay money for it?

Well, you know who else likes coffee? Mrs. BigKat. She drinks coffee every day. It started out when she was in college. Her friends would go to a coffee shop, so she would go with them. She didn't drink coffee and didn't know what to get, so she would get herself mochas. And to this day, that is her primary drink of choice. But again, the idea is to put good tasting stuff (milk and chocolate) on top of the coffee to get rid of the yucky coffee taste. Last year, I got her several coffee related items. I got her a burr grinder, a french press pot, and an espresso machine. Me being me, I had to do a lot of research on the items before I purchased them. And boy, did I learn a lot. I went to to do mose of my research. And I found out that there are people that are CRAZY about coffee. There are people that will spend a thousand dollars on coffee related items in order to get the perfect cup. If you ask them what grinder to get, some of them will tell you that you need to get such-and-such model that starts at $400 and even then you may end up wanting to upgrade soon. Some of them order beans from all over the world and roast them at home so they will be as fresh as possible. Now for someone to be that crazy about coffee, I couldn't imagine that they were drinking the same horrible liquid that I drank at the coffee shop. There had to be something else to it.

I started helping Mrs. BigKat make her espresso drinks. I followed the advice given on CoffeeGeek to help me out. And every time I made a shot for Mrs. BigKat, I'd make one for myself to try out. Now, our setup is not the most expensive setup in the world (but it was by no means cheap either). So the results are not as consistent as you might get with better quality machines. But with some practice, I was able to start getting rid of some of the bad flavors, so that some actually interesting flavors came through (although, there's still a bit of sourness that I can't seem to overcome. My feeling is that it has something to do with the water temperature).

Well, recently Mrs. BigKat has found a local place that roasts their own coffee and delivers it to your house. So now she gets these interesting fresh roasted coffees to try out. She's really been enjoying her espresso machine, but I told her that she should try making it in her press pot. That way it might be easier to experience the flavor of the beans because some of the off-flavors that she's been getting from the espresso machine wouldn't be there. It took her a while, but last night, she finally did it. She made a cup for herself and had enough left over to make half a cup for me.

Wow! Now that was a good beverage! No burnt tastes. No bitter tastes. No sour tastes. No yucky tastes at all! It tasted like the nice smell that coffee puts off, mixed with some other complex, interesting flavors. I had no desire to add anything that would tone down its flavor at all. I'm starting to understand why all the people on CoffeeGeek love their coffee so much. I'm looking forward to having another cup this evening.

But my original question still remains, just modified a bit. Why would anyone pay to drink yucky tasting coffee when it's possible to make really good tasting coffee?


Tara said...

This post is making me giggle. Truly, first it became an acquired taste for me - and I still have to have a little coffee with my cream and sugar. ;) But we do love to try new flavors. Hey - we want to come to YOUR house for coffee! Oh - Chris loves the french press pot, too. Great coffee.

Now, see, I (actually Chris) could've written a similar post about beer except I could never get to the appreciate stage you did. Its just well, yucky to me. But for Chris, he loves trying different brews. (He'll only drink it as long as he's not being a stumbling block to another...)

BigKat said...

I had another cup last night. It was good! The only problem was that is got cold pretty quickly. I tried coming up with a good solution. My idea was to use littler cups and keep the hot coffee in a thermos. Then when you're done with your little cup, you can refill it with hot coffee.

Mrs. BigKat made me another cup today. But it wasn't as good. I got that burnt taste that I don't like (but not nearly as much as the other yucky coffee that I drank). She said that it was because the water temperature was too high. Apparently there's a 'sweet spot' for water temp that makes it taste good.

Yes, beer was an acquired taste for me too. I really like it, but since I had my liver problem, I pretty much avoid it now (my liver's fine now, but it just makes me feel better).

But that was the funny thing about the coffee. I just drank the one cup and it tasted good. But when I drank the cup today, it tasted bad. I guess making coffee really is a cooking process. Just like you can have a delicious plain hamburger if it was cooked perfectly and a horrible guacamole-onion ring-chili-deluxe-burger if it was overcooked. Although if it was a guacamole-onion ring-chili-deluxe-BACON-burger that was overcooked, I'd still eat it.