I figured out coffee

I don’t like anything. Well, almost anything. There are some things I quite enjoy, like Aerosmith and Bond flicks and a glass of sweet iced tea on a 75° afternoon. But I generally believe everything sucks, and I find that when I try stuff just to be sure, I find it still sucks.

This is, of course, a terrible way to live. It’s kept me from having much of a good time in life, but then again, I tend to think most of life in America isn’t really a good time to start. I never went to prom, because high school sucks, and I don’t dance, because I suck at dancing and don’t need to be reminded of it. I’ve never been smashing drunk, because that would suck, so why bother. I don’t see a point in doing things that everyone knows sucks, or in doing things that leads to a sucky experience. Then again, the irony of spending a Saturday night home alone instead of going to some shitty bar is not lost on me. Both suck, so again, my theory that everything sucks and most people are too stupid to figure that out stands.

Anyway, one such sucky thing is coffee. I’ve never grasped the concept behind coffee. “Here, drink this cup of bitter water that’ll burn your lip. Oh, and you can’t drink it, because it’s so hot, so you have to sip it like a pussy.” Super.

To be obvious, if it’s not already, when I drink something it’s because I’m fucking thirsty and I don’t want to sip crap, I want to drink something and go about my business.

But like so many other things in life, I’m sick of people, namely business prospects, asking if I’d like to grab a cup of coffee somewhere, so I decided to defy logic and figure out why coffee sucks. Plus, I believe it’s probably healthy as part of a balanced diet, as it’s so natural and earthy.

Turns out, coffee is not supposed to be bitter. So many people just assume that’s what it’s supposed to be like, but that’s dumb. What kind of an idiot willingly drinks something bitter all day? Maybe my sweet tooth is overly sensitive, but I discovered that a fresh roast of Tonx coffee-by-mail works well, as it’s sent the day after a roast and is roasted only lightly.

Like most of the crap in grocery stores and chain stores today, the stuff on the shelf is worthless. The coffee at Starbucks or Kroger has been roasted all to hell so it maintains some semblance of flavor even if it sits in warehouses for months. It’s like burning bread so you can sell it three months later and people still know it’s bread. Yes, it’s bread, but it’s burnt, so why bother.

I invested in a kitchen scale, an AeroPress, a grinder, and have tried many coffees over the last few weeks. I’m convinced anything from Starbucks will be crap, because it’s all about inventory management for them, meaning roast hot and hard and sell whenever.

I tried coffee one day at Monon Coffee and Tea one day, and that was also bitter. Heck, I even tried a sample of $70 per bag of Jamaican coffee at Starbucks and it still tasted like urine. Or what I assume urine tastes like anyway.

I’ve discovered that drip coffee makers are the $5 toasters of the coffee world. Sure, they make some hot liquid, but it over brews the grounds in the middle of the drip bowl and the grounds on the perimeter are completely underused, if used at all. Over extracting flavor from a coffee bean makes it bitter.

So, my process works like this:

  1. Fill a mug with water (I use purified water).
  2. Put water in container on stove to heat to 175° (measured by a thermometer).
  3. While water heats, measure out 8 grams of coffee beans. I’m liking the Tonx roasts.
  4. Grind beans on a medium setting, or 15-20 seconds on a simple touch button grinder.
  5. Put the ground beans in the AeroPress, wet a filter (to remove paper taste) and install at the bottom, and wait for water to finish heating.
  6. As water just barely reaches the simmer point, or 175°, take off stove, add to AeroPress, stir with ground beans, and then press firmly as directed by the AeroPress.
  7. Wait 5 minutes for coffee to cool enough that I can actually drink it.

This still doesn’t solve my problem of being able to enjoy a cup with a client, because it appears anything served outside my kitchen according to my fussy method will fail to please. Lucky for me I’m used to that sort of disappointment.

Interested in trying Tonx? Sign up with this link and we’ll both get a little free coffee.

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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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