Thursday, April 2, 2015

Kicking The Creamer Habit

I love good coffee.  For a large part of my life I didn't know that.  I grew up in a home where "coffee" often came in instant form.  Instant is something but it's not coffee.  Even when my parents were brewing coffee it came from a can and was old and bitter.  I didn't know coffee came from beans or could be a delightful treat.  I saw it as a hard tasting medicine that adults drank to survive the work day.

As I grew up and tried to "adult" I drank coffee.  With lots and lots of sugar and milk.  That is to say  I had some coffee with my milk.  As flavored creamers became more and more interesting I switched to these.  They are pretty sweet and I didn't need more sweetener, so I dumped the sugar from my cup.

Eventually I found my way to small batch roasters and artisan coffee.  I still used some creamer, but much less of it. I started learning more about coffee and all the various tastes that it can have.  How beans from different areas have different profiles.  I started drinking a shot of it black before adding my creamer so I could begin to taste these and it was so cool to learn how complex coffee could taste.  Coffee is naturally sweet!  Who knew!!

Eventually I got ahold of a bag of beans from Onyx Coffee Roasters and another from Bespoken.  Both were Ethiopian beans that had been roasted to the exact point where they were at the height of sweetness.  Creamer was too much.  It just overloaded the coffee.  I drank those black and started drinking more and more of my other coffees black as well.  It opened up a world of flavor that exists without fat, calories or manmade whatevers in it.

It's been ages since I have added creamer to regular coffee.  I do add it to super dark beans and I have milk in my latte or cappuccino.  I just have plain milk with those or occasionally some chocolate for a mocha.  I generally save the sweet syrups and heavily flavored creamer for when I am out and about and getting a treat.

I've really grown to appreciate the complex and varied flavors of coffee.  I've also grown to appreciate the artists who get the best from the beans.  Roasting coffee is somewhere between art and science.  Give two roasters the same beans and they will often get two totally different results.  A local roaster, Vincent,  at Maps Coffee  showed me his roaster and all the nifty tech parts of it and explained what he looks for in a roast.  It's fascinating to see the art of hitting the exact right point meld with the tech of the roaster and the science behind why that is the exact right point.  Vincent does guest roasting where you can learn more in depth.  I'm looking forward to doing that one day.

Today I love my coffee.  If you've seen my instagram (@shouldntsaythat) you know how much I love my coffee.  I still can't drink the stuff from a can and I refuse to think of the instant stuff as coffee.  Getting rid of the creamer has allowed me to really experience all that coffee has to offer.  It comes from a cherry - don't hide that behind some chemicals!

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