Cheap Coffee I will

September 15, 2003


Cheap Coffee

I will finish the story of the SMCJ later. Now I am drinking coffee and I want to write about it.

I do not drink alcohol, use tobacco, or partake in other recreational substances. My vices right now consist of coffee and root beer. I take them seriously and want the good stuff.

I drink a moderate amount of coffee, 20 to 30 ounces a day. That is down from the pot a day I used to guzzle but it is still more than my doctor approves of. I brew half-caff these days to help balance my desire for coffee with my desire for regular sleep.

I buy fresh-roasted whole bean coffee from local roasters, two pounds at a time, and use it up within three or four weeks. I grind right before I brew, I use a Braun coffee maker because I like the taste. When this one dies, some day (they are very sturdy appliances) I will probably get a Braun with a carafe. I HATE burned coffee and turn the hot plate off after the pot brews - I would rather drink it cold than burnt.

The best place I have found to get coffee locally is Coffeeworks in Voorhees, NJ. They are nice folks. But, it is a 15 to 20 minute drive to get there, plus traffic. It always takes the girls at the counter three tries to ring up bulk coffee - they seem to have too much turnover with the high-school kids who staff the front. In short, it is a bother and a hassle to make a coffee run.

I drank my coffee black from the time I was about 17 until early this summer. This summer I had a nasty bout with gastric reflux and ended up shifting first to cafe au lait and then, because I am lazy, to half coffee and half cold skim milk.

I noticed that I was not really tasting all the subtlety of the beans this way - I could no longer taste much of the syrup in a Sumatra, the mocha flavor in an east African, or the high fragrant note in the good American coffees. So, when I was wandering through the discount club the other day, I bought some cheap coffee. I could have gotten Starbucks, but I think they systematically over-roast and burn their coffee. I do not drink Starbucks. I got the house brand from BJ's Warehouse.

As straight black coffee, it is not good at all - stale, flat, boring and thin. If I brew it stronger than usual and mix it with milk it is just barely acceptable. I will finish what I bought, but I will not be buying any more. I guess sometime in October I will drive down to Voorhees and watch the latest counter girl struggle with how best to ring up two pounds of whole-bean coffee.

And so to have another cup of coffee

Posted by Red Ted at September 15, 2003 10:31 AM | TrackBack