For the majority of my life I’ve always drank coffee with cream or a sweetener.
It never occurred to me that I should be drinking my coffee black. The idea of black coffee just seemed like a bitter incomplete drink.
Throughout this post I’ll explain my thoughts around black coffee and explain why I recommend everyone to give black coffee a chance.
Convenience and Affordability
As I ventured into university, my craving for coffee grew since I was drinking it almost constantly. Before class, on my way to class, during, after, you would always catch me with a coffee in hand. Convenience was the biggest influence in my coffee purchasing decisions.
At this point my life I was drinking coffee just to get me through my day. If it was sweet and caffeinated I was drinking it. I didn't have time or the interest to be picky about coffee, I just wanted that boost in energy. I think for myself and most of my peers, coffee was just a part of our unconscious routine.
Convenience store coffee and commercial coffee were my go to’s in university, but I started to stray from them after I graduated, and started buying my coffee from the grocery store. Again, I had no preference for what to buy- I just knew I liked the sound of dark coffee because it made me think it had more caffeine.
Fast forward a few months after convocation, I acquired a job working for a local coffee roasting company.
This is when my perception of black coffee changed. I no longer see it as a bitter tasting bean juice and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned.
I never knew coffee could taste so different depending on where it was grown, how it was processed, what roasting techniques were used and even how it’s brewed! It’s fascinating to learn about the journey a coffee bean must go through before it reaches your cup.
Each step of a bean's journey to your cup there is a factor that could completely change the taste of the coffee. I was foolish to believe all coffee tasted the same.
What tasted the same was the creamer I put in my coffee.
Creamer was hiding all the wonderful characteristics of a good cup of black coffee. Now I see creamer as an accessory and not a necessity.
Should you make the switch?
So should you drink coffee black from now on? Well that's up to you, only you know what you like. I’m not writing this to convince you that one way of drinking coffee is better than the other. I’m writing this to share how drinking coffee black has expanded my taste for coffee instead of restricting it.
The truth is, I didn't really know what to look for in the taste of coffee. All I knew was which creamer I wanted to mix my coffee with. Listening to my coworkers describe their cups using terminology like, floral and alkaline I knew there was much to learn about tasting coffee. They told me about tasting notes and I didn't really understand the concept at first.
“A tasting note refers to a taster's written testimony about the aroma, taste identification, acidity, structure, texture, and balance of a coffee”
As I drank more black coffee I started to pick up on the flavours they were talking about. Floral, acidic, tangy, tart, citrus are just a few notes from the broad spectrum of coffee tastes and aromas.
I have gained a whole new appreciation for the beverage. It isn’t just some quick drink I pick up from the convenience store anymore. It’s a drink that takes time and skill every step of the journey, from a farmer’s hand to your cup, to really extract its true potential.
Don't get me wrong- there's nothing wrong with drinking coffee with creamer. For me, taking a break from creamer was what reignited my curiosity and appreciation for coffee.
The majority of my peers still buy their coffee from big commercial chains and load their coffee with a slurry of creams and sweeteners. If that’s you that’s totally fine, I’d like to encourage you to experience quality coffee without cream and sugar. Maybe you’ll notice some of your taste buds changing and enjoying more of the flavours coffee has to offer.
So if you’ve gotten used to drinking the same sweet cup of coffee every day, I highly recommend taking a break from the creamer and sweetener!
Go out and try some specialty coffee and let your taste buds experience a whole new world of coffee.
Author Joshua Uy