Starving Dietitian

Coffee Connoisseur

It’s been about a month since my last connoisseur post. Time for something new.

Given you read the title, it’s not much of a surprise, but you’re about to learn far more than you ever cared for about America’s #1 drug of choice. Coffee.

Coffee is a thing of beauty. People love to hate on it, stating that “anything you need everyday can’t be good for you” but their ramblings are in stark contradiction to what the evidence suggests. Coffee is good for you, like really really good. In many respects it is as good if not better than tea in terms of health benefits.

I must’ve had some crazy insight as a kid because I’ve been drinking it since I was about 7. I was just one of those strange kids who liked the taste from the start. I will admit I used a lot more creamer back then, but my love for the taste has grown with time.

That being said, I present 5 ways to fall in love with coffee.

1. A good coffee should be taken black. 

HiRes1

Why take a $20 bottle of wine and water it down with orange juice? That’s exactly what people do to their expensive coffee grounds without thinking twice. One of the easiest ways to tell bad coffee from good coffee is to drink it black. Few can stand Folgers black for instance, whereas many can tolerate black Kona.

2. Stop grinding it all at once!

This is one of the biggest pet-peeves of mine. Remember my post about chocolate and that three letter word FAT? Well coffee has oils in it too that add texture and flavor, all while mellowing the bitter components. What happens when you grind coffee 3 weeks in advance? Goodbye oils. Evaporated right into the air leaving behind a sad excuse for coffee. Only grind as much as you’ll use for the next batch, preferably no longer than 12 hours later.

3. Get a real grinder already. 

Most people either buy preground coffee or one of those food-processor-style coffee grinders. Both of which will give you a bad cup. The secret behind truly good coffee is a burr grinder. Like this Infinity Burr Grinder.

burr

These crush the beans rather than chop them and also offer tighter control of grind size. Grind size affects how much surface area the coffee has and how quick the water drains through the grinds. It’s important to say the least.

4. Use filtered water.

Water is one of the single greatest components of making good coffee. If you’re not using filtered water you’re already doing it wrong. “Hard” water imparts a harsher taste to the coffee and impedes the true flavors from coming out.

5. Buy the right beans!

bean gradient

You can filter and grind, mash, and mix but bad beans will give you bad coffee. I die a little inside every time I see someone use extra dark espresso beans in an office coffee maker. For that you should be using a light or medium roast.  Leave the dark stuff to actual espresso machines. Fun fact, did you know that the lighter the roast the MORE caffeine you get from it? We’ve been sold a lie.

This list started at 3 things and I just couldn’t stop. There’s even more than this but since it’s a Friday I’ll let you get back to planning your weekend. Remember this post come Monday.

Be good to each other.

-J. Iufer

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