I drink one cup of coffee a day. In the morning. Never make it at home, instead I always take a drive or a walk to the best coffee shop within a ten mile radius. I like a good dark roast, or at least a medium dark. I want that first sip to be a slap in the face. I want that first sip to make me it’s bitch. But not in any nasty gritty way. In the way a beautiful woman grabs the back of your head, pulls you to her and kisses you with such a force that it melts you into nothingness. The ties she binds you with are made of brown silk that glide down your throat, setting off marvelous alarms of joy in every nerve ending of your being.
That cup of coffee should be blessedly hot, almost like the feelings it evokes. Rich with delight, smooth, with no hint of bitterness. It should be like morning sex, sleepy but still a little rough, leaving you with a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
And I know coffee aficionados hate this word, but it should also be “strong.”
Which leads me to the point of this blog post: my complete and utter disdain for light roasts and coffee made via the pour-over.
We’re told that with light roasts you can better taste the flavor of the coffee. BULLSHIT. Drinking a light roast coffee is like drinking Bud Light. And if you somehow feel that Bud Light is a great tasting beer, then I truly feel sorry for you. (Not as sorry as I feel for the people in Chicago who believe they have good pizza, but that’s a whole other story.) I’ve tried light roast coffees in Portland (supposedly the mecca of coffee…it’s SO not), in LA, in Chicago, in NYC, in way too many places to remember (usually because the only other choice was no coffee at all), and in every case my reaction was the same. After a few sips the cup was dumped into the nearest trash bin. No coffee was the preferable alternative.
Light roast coffee (especially those made from pour overs) taste as if someone took a barely hot cup of hot water and spit a mouthful of day old coffee brewed from Folgers Crystals into it, along with the juice of some berry that should never be put anywhere near a cup of coffee, unless it’s baked into a muffin or scone.
And let me side track here. Coffee should not have a linger taste of berries. Not blue, black, or straw. No fucking berries in my Joe. I don’t want to taste the dirt it was grown in. I don’t want hints of some flower. I don’t want spices. And I certainly never want an artificial flavor of any sort.
The only lingering notes I want from my cup of coffee is COFFEE. And perhaps a little more coffee after that.
I truly feel this light roast trend is another hipster concoction. Let’s face it, if you ever listen to what at hipsters call rock and roll, you realize its music that’s been castrated with a butter knife. Instead of three guys playing guitar, bass and drums, making glorious noise, they add in ridiculous instruments that have no place in rock and roll, or they play the ukulele instead of a guitar. And they’ve done the same fucking thing to coffee, watering it down, and cultivating beans with extra flavors that are so unnecessary, and so downright foolish it’s truly an embarrassment to the word. Just as hipster rock (you know the bands: Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, Fun Period, to name a few) is vapid and gutless (and also an embarrassment to the word), so is their light roast coffee. Instead of that wonderful buzz of great morning sex, it’s like brushing your teeth with someone else’s toothbrush using blueberry flavored toothpaste and warm brown rusty water.
Perhaps hipsters like that. (They do drink PBR to be ironic, and anyone who drinks a beer to be ironic instead of how that beer actually tastes is truly pathetic, or an idiot, or both. Note: PBR is a fine beer choice for anyone over 70. At that age you can drink whatever you want. You’ve earned it.) And it’s fine if they do. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me, listen to the music they play, the beards they wear. But don’t ever call it coffee.
And one final note to the smirking bearded hipsters wearing too-tight plaid shirts: the next time I walk into your shop at 7 AM asking for a dark roast don’t try to lecture me about how a light roast is the only way to experience the full flavor of the bean. Because seriously, I haven’t had my coffee yet, and I might just punch you in the face.