I’ll level with all of you: I am not a morning person. But few things light a candle under my respective keister every day like a nice, big molten-hot cup of caffeinated liquid charcoal. And I don’t exaggerate when I akin my coffee to charcoal either.
I started taking my coffee black back in school when I spent many a long night cramming for one form of examination or another. I realized then that if you take coffee with cream or sugar it not only waters it down, but it does something absolutely counterproductive to the whole purpose why I was drinking it in the first place: it made it taste good.
And by tasting good, it reminded me of nights of my youth, coming in from the snow to make hot chocolate and then fall asleep on the couch in front of fire. Iconic, isn’t it? I’m getting a little sleepy just thinking about it. But in that lies the problem, simply put, if your coffee makes you sleepy, you are doing it wrong.
I think half of what used to wake me up from drinking black coffee was the taste. I mean, seriously, if you have something that bitter early in the morning it’s like a slap in the face. Few things do the trick better.
They say that coffee is an acquired taste. I’ve often heard the same thing for cigarettes and I can’t say I care for the latter, but an interesting caveat is that I’ve also heard that the average cigarette smoker takes two weeks to adjust changing brands. Which basically says that if you taste just about anything regularly long enough, it’ll grow on you to the point where you like the taste.
So I set out to find ways to make it darker, and thus entered the coffee press. I recently became the proud owner of a 32 ounce thermal coffee press and I gotta say this thing’s really down wonderful things for making coffee darker. Unlike with drip coffee makers, in which the water only passes through the coffee grounds, with the press, the coffee soaks immobile within the water, waiting for that very moment when you decide it’s dark enough and you hit the plunger, pushing the grounds to the bottom and leaving you with some thick, rich sludge.
Of course the problem comes in once again of getting used to the taste, which is now becoming a factor. When twenty-minute pressed coffee starts tasting great, it pretty much means you’ve reached the point of no return: after this no gas-station black coffee is ever going to cut the mustard again. And then what?
Will I become one of those home-roasters who buy there beans green and in bulk? Or will I simply move on to just drinking pure espresso? Only time will tell.
In the mean time I’ll just sit here pondering all this while I wait for the hot chocolate to cool enough to drink it.