It’s easy to understand why Alisha and I, owners of Lake City Coffee, would be called coffee nerds.
Nobel Rottens Wine Club
Yet, recently we joined The Nobel Rottens Wine Club, hosted by The Culinary Stone here in Coeur d’Alene Idaho and conducted by certified sommelier, Trevor Treller.
It’s been a real hoot. Not only have we learned a ton about wine, but also everyone in our club is really into gourmet food, fine wine, and great coffee.
I guess winos, foodies, and coffee nerds are all cut from the same cloth.
Lake City Coffee
Since we own Lake City Coffee, and do a lot of coffee taste testing. You’d think, by this point, we’d be experts at tasting anything.
If I’ve learned anything from this wine club and Trevor, it’s that I have a lot to learn about tasting. The similarities between wine tasting and cupping a new coffee have really surprised both Alisha and myself. Even the taste descriptions are similar; acidic, sweet, dry, chocolate, cherry, earthy, etc.
And just like a fine wine, coffee too has a front taste, back taste, texture, smell, and that elusive desire for more, that keeps getting better and better with each sip. If you’re a gulper, as opposed to a taster, then you’d be just as well off buying box wine or in the case of coffee, go buy Charbucks or any other bitter and burnt industrial coffee.
QPR – Quality To Price Ratio
As in most things in life, you can’t tell quality by the price. “You get what you pay for”, often just isn’t true. You can easily pay $50 for a bottle of bad wine.
Likewise, you can just as easily pay $50 for a pound of piss- poor coffee beans.The trick is to find high quality for a reasonable price.
That’s why you talk to an expert like Trevor or myself.
Just as Trevor has steered us to some phenomenal wines costing $15 – $30, so too can a good coffee roaster, steer you to some phenomenal coffee that costs far less than piss-poor coffee like Blue Mountain, or Kona, or that cat-shit coffee.
In fact, the more we learn about wine, the more refined our tastes have become and the more aware we are of subtle taste differences in our own coffee taste testing sessions.
You see, each year, we bring in a couple dozen coffees to taste test before buying a ton of coffee for our customers. Keep in mind that we’re just a small mom-n-pop operation, so getting it right the first time, i.e., picking the perfect beans, that fits our taste profile is essential to the success or failure of our business.
Smooth and Flavorful
When we do our taste testing, we’re specifically looking for beans that are super smooth, i.e., zero bitterness, with prominent notes of chocolate and nut. Why that specific taste profile, year after year?
To be honest, we pick beans that Alisha and I like. Fortunately, we have a loyal following of customers that like the same coffee that we like.
We don’t offer beans from a dozen different countries and half a dozen different roasts or blends. We only offer one bean and three roasts (light, medium, and barely dark). KISS.
Interestingly, each year we pick beans from the Tarrazu Region of Costa Rica. In our opinion, this region produces the smoothest tasting coffee in the world.
But back to wine, well more specifically, let’s now talk about food. After getting to know more of our fellow winos, many of them are accomplished cooks and a few are darn right gourmet chefs; a.k.a. our friend Adam.
The similarities between hight coffee, food, and wine are nothing short of astounding. And please don’t for a moment think that quality is always going to cost more money. It doesn’t.
A high quality to price ratio, does in fact require quality information. And that’s where Trevor comes in for wine and where Alisha and I come in for coffee.
It’s so much fun to enjoy the company of people who, like us, have a passion for gourmet coffee, food, and wine. So, the big lesson here is to take the time and effort to hang out with people who have passions; like coffee nurds and winos, and foodies.
Secondly, life is too short to spend it drinking bad wine, eating bland food, or drinking bad coffee. Quality is the spice of life.
If you have any questions about wine, call the Culinary Stone and ask for Trevor. You’re not likely to find a more knowledgeable wine expert or a more likable man anywhere. And if, by chance, you have a question about coffee, then feel free to contact Alisha or myself.