What makes a great coffee?

Like many of our customers, I probably drink 1 or 2 glasses of wine (or beer) a week but I drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day.  Yet what do I know more about?  Wine and beer! What about coffee, if I'm drinking 10 times more of it than wine and beer?

What makes a great coffee? (Photo Courtesy of Annia316 on Flickr)That's changed since I opened ROASTe.  But the most basic thing that I learned, and you can too, is what makes for an interesting cup of coffee.

First, here's what's wrong with Gas Station coffee:  it tastes bitter.  It tastes kind of hollow.  By that I mean that it doesn't have much flavor.  There's just bitterness.  I have to mask its bitterness with a lot of sugar and cream.  But then all I get is a taste of sweet cream with some bitterness mixed in.  It's flat.

I tried a cup of Newman's Own at McDonalds yesterday and it was the same thing:  bitterness.  Ashiness.  Hollowness.  With all respect to Starbucks, I get that same bitter hollowness there too.

It's not that I'm a coffee snob!  I just want some flavor to my coffee.    Flavor that everyone can taste, not just me or my golden retriever with his nose meant for tracking scents!

That's why I enjoy the taste so much better of an earthy Sumatra, a smooth Costa Rican, a citrusty Ethiopian, or a winey complex Yemen.  There is so much more going on.  Honestly I usually still mix in some cream and sugar but it adds more complexity to the coffee.  I actually enjoy the coffee.

I don't have especially well trained taste buds either.  I just figure that if I'm drinking 2 cups of something a day I ought to enjoy it!  And especially since a cup of even great coffee is only about 40 cents when brewed at home, I can splurge.

I bet that you'll enjoy the much more interesting taste of our coffees when you compare it with Gas Station, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts and other basic coffees.  Behind the scenes, our coffees are coming from often different countries, better soils, higher altitudes, smaller estates, finer roasters and a faster distribution chain.  But it all comes down to a better tasting cup.


(Photo courtesy of Annia316 on Flickr)


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