Do coffee snobs set out to drink black coffee, or do black coffee drinkers naturally become coffee snobs? It sounds like a chicken and the egg problem, but it wasn't for me. I became a black coffee drinker first (to cut calories), and ended up becoming a coffee snob. Once the milk and sugar was gone, I began noticing the difference between good coffee and bad like never before.
If you want to enjoy coffee black, whether for health reasons or just for fun, here are three tips to do it right.
- The Beans - I’m going to make this super simple. Buy a bag of naturally processed Ethiopian coffee. The term “natural process” has nothing to do with being organic or anything like that. As soon as coffee is picked, it’s processed to remove the bean from the fruit. Most good coffee is “washed”, but “natural” processing leaves the fruit on longer, which creates a naturally sweeter coffee. And naturally processed ethiopian coffee, in particular, almost always has an amazing berry flavor. Blueberry is often unmistakable, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry is sometimes there too. Overall, it’s an amazing coffee and the best place to start your black coffee adventures.
- The Grind - Grinding your own coffee fresh before brewing is NOT absolutely essential, but it is a big upgrade. If you don’t think you have time, it takes less than 1 minute with a decent grinder. If you can’t afford a decent grinder, you should know that there are totally respectable hand grinders available for about $30. They use ceramic burrs AND with no need for electricity, you can take them camping!
- The Brew - If money is an issue, buy a Melitta pour-over dripper. It’s $3 and makes amazing coffee. All you need is a mug and a kettle. If time is an issue, please for the love of the Ethiopian farmer who picked your coffee beans one at a time, by hand, please don’t use a Keurig. Great coffee takes maybe 5 minutes to make, and the Keurig is incapable of making good coffee. You’re a black coffee drinker now, have some pride! Throw away that Keurig and make your coffee any other way.