Two out of three Americans drink coffee daily, which equates to 400 million cups every day. With that much coffee being consumed, it’s worth knowing the pros and cons of coffee. Even if coffee was a miracle drug, but it tasted like burnt and bitter dirty socks, would you drink it? Probably not. So, not only do we want to know the pros and cons of coffee, but also we want to know, how to make coffee taste good?
Pros and Cons of Coffee
The health benefits of drinking coffee are extremely well documented in countless studies going back to the 19th century. The list of these health benefits range from reduced risks of:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Liver cancer
- Heart failure
Additionally, coffee provides increased:
- Sense of wellbeing
The key words in all of these studies are “in moderation”. Moderation seems to be about 300mg of caffeine a day, which equates to about 4 cups of coffee per day. Beyond 300mg, most of the benefits attributed to coffee turn into detriments (cons).
The primary benefit of coffee is stress reduction. Again, countless studies have shown the detrimental effect that stress has on the body. Therefore, almost anything that reduces stress has a health benefit.
Although coffee is often thought of as a stimulant, in many cases it is quite the opposite. If someone is drinking coffee, in moderation, and enjoying the coffee as a comfort food, then the coffee is not a stimulant, but in fact a calming, stress reducing experience.
In my opinion, as a master coffee roaster, and co-owner of Lake City Coffee, I have the good pleasure to discuss coffee and lifestyle with hundreds of my customers. Almost without exception, our customers find that coffee which is not burnt, not bitter, smooth as silk, with calming flavors of chocolate and nut; they find our coffee to be very stress reducing.
Bitter Industrial Coffee
Here’s the challenge with coffee. Americans typically drink bad coffee. Most Americans would rather settle for the convenience of old bitter industrial coffee, than take a little extra effort to make and enjoy a truly satisfying fresh roasted cup of coffee.
You can’t make a good cup of coffee with old beans. Undeniably, the fresher the bean the better the taste, yet a vast majority of coffee sold in the United States has been stored in warehouses or sitting on store shelves for months if not years. And no amount of space-age packaging can change that fact. No wonder American coffee is so bitter.
Burnt Industrial Coffee
Most large industrial coffee companies purchase low quality beans and then burn the snot out of those beans to mask their bitter taste. Even small specialty coffee roasters, in an attempt to be the next “Charbucks” intentionally burn their beans because that’s what the American coffee drinking market wants.
Although most Americans expect burnt and bitter industrial coffee, that’s quickly changing. More and more Americans are taking a look at the pros and cons of coffee through a new paradigm shift. Often Americans are now looking for truly fresh roasted coffee that isn’t burnt. That’s where we at Lake City Coffee come in.
How To Make Coffee Taste Good
Because most coffee tastes so bad, most people add milk, cream, chocolate, caramel, whip cream, flavorings, and sprinkles, with an end result which isn’t coffee any more.
What does good coffee taste like? Well it isn’t bitter and burnt industrial coffee. If you like bitter and burnt, then buy Charbucks or save yourself some money and just buy a 30 pound bag of Kingsford Charcoal.
How to make coffee taste good starts with good quality beans. Not all beans are created equal and everyone has different taste buds. Maybe that’s why God made coffee that tastes different depending on where it’s grown. Coffee grown in Africa and Asia tends to be very bold and harsh. On the other hand coffee grown in Central America tend to be smooth and naturally sweet.
Here at Lake City Coffee I only source beans from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Why? Because this region is well know for super smooth (not bitter) beans, with a hint of chocolate and nut.
Why would any company buy really good beans and then burn the snot out of them? I don’t know why, but most roasters do exactly that. I on the other hand roast the old fashion way, low-n-slow over an open fire.
Low-n-Slow allows me to roast the perfect dark, medium, or white coffee. My dark roast is “barely” dark, meaning a dark brown, but not black. This will give our dark roast lovers just a “hint” of burnt flavor, yet leaving enough of the natural oils inside the bean so that you can also taste the smooth and naturally sweet flavor of the bean.
Our medium roast, my favorite, is nothing short of divine. The notes of chocolate and nut are prominent. And our White Lightning is roasted to a golden color, to bring out a very noticeable nut flavor. Many people like mixing the white with our other roasts.
Yes, beans and roasting are important, but the other half of the equation is in the brewing technique. That’s your part of the, how to make coffee taste good. There are dozens of brewing methods, ranging from:
- Pass-through (drip)
- Pressure (espresso)
- Steeping (Cold Brew & French Press)
I am very partial to the steeping methods. Steeping the coffee is just letting the grounds mix with the water for minutes to hours, depending on what method you’re using.
Here’s a link to a blog post that I wrote that gives you the advantages and disadvantages of each brewing method (Click Here).
I strongly believe that there’s an inverse relationship between money spent on brewing equipment and the quality of a good smooth cup of coffee. Don’t waste your money on a $1,200 machine. Now if you have already spent a ton of money on a top-of-the-line machine, then good for you. Put it in the middle of your counter to impress everyone.
Then grab a Mason jar, fill it with 1/3 cup of course ground coffee and fill it to the top with water. Shake the jar and put it in the refrigerator. Tomorrow morning pour your Cold Brew through a filter and voila! You’ll have coffee fit for a king. And if it makes you feel better, tell everyone that you used your $1,200 machine.
I do have one exception to spending money on equipment. Buy a good burr grinder; roughly $60 on Amazon and if you can find one used, definitely buy used. These grinders generally last for many years.
Lake City Coffee
Alisha, (my beautiful, smart, and talented wife and business partner) and I are together Lake City Coffee. It’s just the two of us, yet we service hundreds of customers across the U.S.
Our vision is to provide to you the freshest and smoothest whole bean coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere. We’re not the biggest, but we’re certainly one of the best coffee roasters in the country, with unparalleled personal service. No brag – Just fact.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alisha or me.