Real coffee drinkers drink their coffee black. By “real coffee drinkers”, I’m talking about people with a passion for the best coffee to drink black. You’d think this question would have a simple and easy answer, but it doesn’t. In this article, I’m going explain exactly how to make the world’s best black coffee.
Making The Right Coffee
Listed below are several major variables to consider when making great coffee. And within each of these categories, there are many minor variables, making hundreds if not thousands of possibilities. Now don’t let that scare you from trying to improve your coffee making skills. In the end, I’m going to make this easy for you.
Ask The Right Question
To get the right answer, you first need to ask the right question. In this case, you need to ask yourself, “What am I looking for in a cup of coffee?”
Many people are just looking for something to help them wake up. So they slam down their coffee as fast as they can and wait for the caffeine rush to hit. If that’s all they want, then a good slap in the face should do the trick.
On the other hand, some folks just want to accost their taste buds with burnt and bitter industrial coffee, thinking the more acoustic the taste, the stronger the coffee, which in fact is 100% incorrect.
I find that true coffee lovers, looking for the best coffee to drink black, hopefully like you, are looking for a coffee experience. True coffee lovers learn want they like. Some like their coffee very acidic. Others want no acid flavor. Some like it strong, others weak. Some like their coffee with one dominant flavor, yet others like two or three subtle flavors.
The Right Beans
Knowing what you want from your coffee may help you to find the right beans. Here’s the good news. God made coffee from every nation, from every region, and from every grower different. Coffee from some areas is very robust with one overwhelming flavor. Other countries produce coffee so smooth that that there’s no flavor. Africa and Asia grow coffee’s completely different than coffee from Central America or the South Pacific. Lastly, there are some beans that really lend themselves to the best coffee to drink black. All this means is that you have a ton of options when it comes to beans and their taste.
There are only two kinds of coffee beans in the whole world; Robusta (bitter-n-cheap) and Arabica (smooth and flavorful). Most coffee in the grocery store contains some, if not all, Robusta beans, i.e. crappy coffee for the masses, think Yuban, Maxwell House, Hills Brothers, and yes even Charbucks.
The Right Plantation
Let’s assume that you’re looking for high quality Arabica beans. Even if the can says “Arabica”, doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Even if the package says “Artisan” or “Specialty” that doesn’t mean squat. It only means that some marketing weenie in New York thinks that you’ll buy his cheap crappy beans if you think his marketing package is cool, i.e. Charbucks.
Lake City Coffee is a Mom-n-Pop coffee roasting business. We don’t answer to anyone but God, our customers and ourselves. Therefore, I buy the beans that I like. I roast what I like. I drink with I like. And I love coffee that’s smooth and includes 2-3 naturally distinct flavors. In my humble opinion, the smoothest and most flavorful beans in the world come from Costa Rica, the Tarrazu region, and specifically the Amapola plantation.
The Right Roast
Here’s an important point. Most roasters roast what they like, and I’m no exception. So you should know the taste profile for which your roaster is attempting. Almost all roasters see themselves as the next Charbucks, so they buy cheap beans and burn the snot out of them.
Here’s a truth that few people know. When a coffee roaster roasts his coffee black, in reality he’s burning off most of the bean’s oils. It’s those oils that contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor. Dark roasted coffee beans have very little medicinal value and even less taste, unless of course you like licking the inside of a BBQ grill, then you might like burnt-n-bitter industrial coffee.
The Right Smoothness
As I said, I love coffee that’s smooth as silk, where I can actually taste the coffee’s subtle and unique flavors. I want to close my eyes and think, “Damn! That’s good. That’s real good.” As I said, real coffee drinkers want a coffee experience that will start their day on a good note, much like a good song or a good prayer.
The bottom line is that I sell only one bean (Costa Rican, Tarazzu Region, Amapola Plantation), 3 roasts (White, Medium, and Dark Brown).
Ok, I’ll admit that I do roast the best damn decaf coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere. Well, that’s what my customers tell me anyway.
Here’s a truth that few people know. All roasted coffee begins going stale and thus bitter in less than 30 days. Additionally, no amount of space age packaging technology can preserve that fresh flavor for more than 30 days. I don’t care if you vacuum seal the coffee in nitrogen filled bags, freeze it, can it, or whatever. All coffee, even mine tastes significantly different after 30 days.
That bad news gets even worst. Experts tell us that a vast majority of coffee sold in the US has been sitting in warehouses or on store shelves for months if not years. No wonder Americans are used to drinking burnt and bitter industrial coffee.
Here’s the good news. Alisha, my wife, and I roast and ship our coffee within 1 hour of roasting, each and every Tuesday morning. That means all of our coffee arrives to you within 24-48 hours completely fresh and will pleasantly last you 30 days.
The Right Grind
How you grind your fresh roasted beans makes a big difference in the final taste. It depends on how you brew your coffee. Just remember this, always grind your beans just before you brew. Why? Because when you pre-grind your beans, the valuable oils within those beans begin immediately to evaporate, thus loosing taste.
A French Press is typically done with course ground beans; An AeroPress brewer (My favorite) is typically ground medium fine; drip machines are typically a medium grind. BUT here’s the point, you need to experiment, switch it up regularly. You’ll eventually find a combination that you personally think is just this side of heaven.
The Right Brew
70% of making a great cup of coffee is in the brewing. Of course, you want to start with good beans and a fresh roast, but do not underestimate brewing. Each brewing technique is produces its own unique flavor. Below is a list of brewing techniques, in my humble opinion, from smoothest at the top and most bitterness at the bottom.
- Cold Brew (Click Here To See This Video)
- AeroPress (Click Here To See This Video)
- French Press – This is a tough one to dial in. If not done right, it can be bitter, but when done correctly, can be very robust and smooth. Start experimenting with grinds, amount of coffee, and most importantly steeping time. I do a medium fine grind and steep for one minute.
- Drip Machines
- Pour Over
- Cowboy Coffee
Best Coffee to Drink Black
In a nut shell, here’s how I make the world’s smoothest black coffee.
- Beans – Costa Rican, Tarazzu, Amapola
- Medium Roast within the last 30 days.
- Medium/Fine Grind right before brewing
- ¼ – 1/3 Cup of Grounds
- AeroPress Brewing – Stir & Steep 1 minute
- Pour into pre-heated Thermos mug
- Sit. Close your eyes. And focus on that mouthful of heaven.
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