coffee customs

(Why am I so proud of myself for that alliteration? Is it because it’s Friday, and I’m otherwise brain dead?)

I am going to send this one in to Real Simple magazine’s Genius Domestic Uses For Rubber Bands tip section, but you saw it here first:

I Think The Way I Store My Coffee Is Really Clever

Ingredients:
-container for coffee beans
-coffee beans
-the bag the beans came in
-scissors
-thick rubber band that fits around the container

What’s the deal with all this sour coffee, coffee snobs? It’s like I can’t go to a $4-a-cup coffee place without having some whippet-thin-Bataille-loving-Foucault-misreading-better-painter-than-I-am-so-I’m-obviously-just-jealous beauty queen look down his/her nose at me when I ask for the least sour roast possible — and then, should I dare to use my own adjectives in describing what I’m looking for (“earthy,” “more on the bitter side,” “muddy,” “um, why are you looking at me like I spilled apple juice on your record collection?”), he/she actually manages to look so far down his/her nose that his/her head flips upside-down as he/she says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Okay, rant over. My point? I’ve been on the hunt for non-sour yet excellent quality and locally roasted coffee for years, and still haven’t quite hit my stride. Still, I’m looking. So every time I need a new bag of beans, I try something new to see if it sticks.

A borderline OCD person like me, engaged in a project like this, requires a good record-keeping system so that I know where my taste buds have been and where they’re going. So, every time I buy new beans, instead of peeling off the sticky label I just empty the bag into my trusty container and then cut out the label so I can slip it inside the dedicated label rubber band like a calling card. That way, I can keep track of what I’m drinking and compare it to what I drank before. Because I’m a pretty visual person, the labels serve as a sort of flavor mnemonic, reminding me of how I felt as I stared at that label, day in and day out, working my way through the pound of roasted gems via the spaceship hand-grinder my mom gave me, AKA The Mother Ship (which I will post a picture of another time).

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2 thoughts on “coffee customs

  1. My coffee-snob friend claims that sourness can come from the practice of leaving the beans in their fruit during the drying process (a practice usually employed in South America). In Southeast Asia and Africa, beans are usually shucked from their fruits before drying, hence they tend to be less sour. This could be totally bogus, but I am drinking less sour coffee these days. Great blog!

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