The long and winding road… to coffee!

coffee cup“Good [coffee] is like music you can taste, color you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only be aware to stop and savor it.” – Gusteau

I remember the first time I was stunned by a cup of coffee. I’d been slowly coming to understand that coffee, like say, tomatoes or beer, comes in a wide variety of strengths, acidity, flavors and aroma. I’d found Starbucks to be over-roasted and bitter/burnt tasting. Dunkin was awful. Even other local coffee shops didn’t satisfy.

I started looking for alternatives; coffee shops from a wider area. Those that roasted their own seemed to generally produce better results. Maybe they just cared more about serving great coffee. I found a fantastic place in Rochester MN that I often visit (my mom lives there). They roast daily and rotate varieties, and I’ve always gotten an excellent coffee there.

I continued to try different varieties, and found that different countries produced different tasting coffee, Africa being my favorite. When I started focusing on pour-overs, my eyes were opened, as that method of brewing fully brought out the flavors and brightness I preferred.

I also found out that the degree of roasting also had much to do with the final output. As did the age of ground coffee, the water temperature, and the fineness of the grind. So many variables. I discovered an Italian coffee shop in the city that carried an African variety that blew my socks off. As I watched them prepare it, I saw that I was using the identical method, with very similar equipment. All other things being equal, I zeroed in on coffees that had a somewhat similar taste profile. I was hooked, and coffee drinking has been an amazing experience ever since.

All that is to say that while Ethopians are my favorite, I enjoy most all well-prepared coffee, just as I don’t exclusively drink IPAs. I have found much pleasure in developing an appreciation for different coffees from different regions of the globe. Exploring the music, or color, as Gusteu would have said. And as that appreciation developed, I became more interested in diving deeper into this world of coffee, and what should I discover, was that home roasting is a thing!

After considering it for some months, I finally ordered a coffee roaster, which should arrive in a few days, along with 6# of green Ethiopian coffee beans. I still have a bit of work to do in setting up a workspace in the corner of the basement, but I’m stoked about this next step! A friend said it was going to be a rabbit hole, and the Lord knows we have enough of those around here. It’ll take a while to pay back this investment, but I’m so looking forward to tasting what comes out of that roaster!

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