It's another one of those days where I cannot think of something to write about. I've been drinking speciality coffee for a few months. I've never thought about coffee as something that I could drink of a higher quality. I grew up with the idea that coffee came from a Nescafe jar. My parents would always complain about the rising price of coffee. They tried to, and still do, buy jars of coffee on offer. Coffee was not meant to taste great. Coffee kept you going.
I didn't get into speciality coffee as a panic move during lockdown. I know there are many articles that say brewing your own coffee is a good ritual. A lot has been written about coffee during the pandemic. I cannot remember the exact moment I got interested. I remember that I gradually started to build a finer appreciation for coffee. I read about coffee that was supposed to have different flavors. I was intrigued.
Making coffee in the morning is a ritual for me. I look forward to every cup that I brew. I have often thought that no matter how bad a day is I'll always have a cup of coffee coming soon. I have a reason to keep going through the day, even when the news is dreary. I am often so busy with work in the morning that I don't think about coffee. I have my first cup at 11am. I don't like to drink too early because I feel energetic when I wake up.
I take a break and go make a cup of coffee. I make sure that during this time I am not near any technology. I like to focus on the brewing process. In reality, I find myself drying dishes from the morning or doing something else before I get started. I have to stop when I grind my beans. There is no way I can multitask. I haven't thought about grinding beans in this way before. Grinding requires me to be completely present. I must stay in the moment.
I use a manual grinder. I like the strain that the grinder puts on my upper muscles. Some beans are easier to cut through than others. I sometimes have to push harder on the grinder to get through a particularly resistant bean. I pay attention to the grinder itself. I do not mind resistance. I see grinding as a way to build my upper arm muscles. Not that I'm too interested in that form of exercise, but it's a nice benefit.
I try to put focus into every cup. I am careful when I pour my coffee grounds into my Aeropress. I try to make sure I do not pour too much liquid in the Aeropress. I've done this before and it led to a big mess. I'm lucky the stain came out of my jumper. [^1] I like the process of brewing. I've got to grind beans. I have to immerse the beans in water for 30 seconds and then stir. I brew for another 1:30. I attach the cap onto the Aeropress. It's comforting.
When I first drank speciality coffee, I knew that there were different flavors present. My first speciality coffee that I brewed at home tasted nothing like I've ever had from a jar of Nescafe. I'd never go back. I did taste some bitterness. This was because I bought supermarket beans. To make matters worse, the beans were not ground for an Aeropress. I did taste some nice notes. I was convinced that I'd learn more by trying out new beans.
I made a list of new beans that I wanted to try before I'd even finished my first bag. I think I moved onto a bag of Three Hills Coffee next. Maybe their Eildon Blend. I cannot remember. I know that I was willing to spend a bit more money on coffee. Before then, I didn't want to spend too much on beans. The Aeropress was already quite a significant cost for a new hobby I was not sure would stick. I didn't want to add expensive beans onto that cost at first.
I now taste many different flavors in coffee. I like to take a moment to sip and slurp. My favorite flavors in coffee are cherry and dark chocolate. I know this through experience. I made a cup of coffee earlier this year that just made me feel excellent. This cup of coffee was made using Columbian Cundinimarca beans from Three Hills Coffee. I experienced flavors I've never tasted before.
I did not get into speciality coffee for sustainability reasons. Speciality coffee is somewhat wasteful from what I've seen in documentaries. I have learned over the last few months that speciality coffee is a big boon for farmers. The coffee market mostly relies on a c-price. This is the commodity price of coffee. The c-price does not need to be higher than the amount of money a farmer invests in making a particular coffee.
I watched a great documentary called Roasted. It was a bit promotional but I learned about how important it is that we pay farmers a good price for their coffee. The average age of coffee farmers is increasing. Younger people do not want to work on coffee farms. This leaves the entire coffee industry at risk. If farmers no longer want to do the work, there will be shortages of coffee.
I do not mind paying a higher price for speciality coffee. It's worth it just for the different tastes I experience. I did not know that a coffee could taste like apples or nuts or malt or dark chocolate until trying my first cup of speciality that I brewed at home. I've tried speciality in cafes before but I've mostly not known what coffee I have tried. Starbucks may have been my first exposure to speciality coffee.
A Love for Coffee
Coffee is a special beverage for me. I like the feeling of a fresh cup in my hands. The heat radiates from the cup. This blog post has turned out almost as an ode to coffee. I have drank coffee almost every day since I started to drink speciality. I just got a new supply of beans. I'm drinking LIberacion by Union Coffee. I've ordered some decaf beans from Steampunk to try. I enjoy how coffee lets me explore different flavors.
[^1]: I happen to be wearing the jumper I stained now. I had to take a look to see whether the stain was still there.
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