Very often when I talk coffee, people tell me, “When I was in Timbuktoo, I had the best coffee ever. I don’t know why but, I just can’t find coffee in the United States as good as that.” Here’s the funny thing, it doesn’t matter where they went on vacation. It could be Etheopia, Hawaii, Italy, Costa Rica, or Timbuktoo. The story’s the same. Great coffee.

Why So Good There?

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So, what’s going on? Here in the states, we import coffee from each of these countries. Yet, go vacation in Costa Rica, then come back here, and buy some Costa Rican, and it just isn’t near as good.

I for one, used to hate coffee; bitter and burnt; I just didn’t get it. Then one day a buddy made me a cup of coffee that was off the charts awesome. Why? He roasted the coffee a few days earlier and ground the beans right before brewing. Here’s another secret. He didn’t over roast the beans. Dark brown was his “dark” roast and medium brown was his medium roast.

Vacation Coffee Syndrome
Coffee in Rome

Again I say, what’s going on? All these countries couldn’t consistently have better coffee than we do? But they do. Why? In a nut shell, it all comes down to freshness. In other countries, they only brew coffee that was roasted within a week or so if not a day or so. But here in the states, a vast majority of coffee sits in warehouses or on store shelves for months if not years. That’s the difference.

Gently Roasted

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When the beans are over roasted, all of the oils get burned off. Guess what’s in those oils?  Antioxidents, bioflavonoids, caffeine, and wait for it….. flavor! Most countries gently roast their beans low-n-slow over an open fire. That’s another reason their coffee is so good. Not here in the US. Time is money, so they burn the snot out of the beans as fast as they can, thus the bitter and burnt flavor that comes from US industrial coffee companies like Charbucks.

Single Origin Beans

Costa Rican

OK, one last difference; most countries drink single-origin coffee.  That just means that all the beans in your coffeepot came from the same field. But, not in the US. We blend our beans. In reality, blended coffee beans is just marketing speak for, “We bought the cheapest damn beans that we could find and blended them together”. Single origin is always best. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying to you.

So, you want coffee at home that’s just as good as you had in Timbucktoo? Just make sure that whatever beans that you buy were roasted only a few ago. Secondly, buy beans that are not over roasted. If the beans are black, then they are useless and you just got robbed.

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