What influences your choice of coffee?
Do you source your beans directly from a roaster? A shop or supermarket? Why?… Price? Convenience? Relationship? Routine? Answers to these will determine whether coffee is just something to turn a cup of water black and then litter your tongue with flavours of dirt and rubbish tip – or – you want to enjoy your life by making coffee something special and worthwhile because you actually love the taste….
What is the most important factor that determines or influences your choice of beans? Which is the factor that should really determine your choice of beans? Which of the other factors cast a shadow over what should be your unhindered driving factor?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for freedom of choice and will be happy with whatever you decide about whatever you drink – but if you’re happy with your supermarket blend, stop reading now – there is no help for you unfortunately… 😉
Story about a mate of a mate… The bloke and his wife visit my mate and try his coffee. The wife absolutely loves it and so does the husband. My mate says he can supply them with the beans no dramas. The wife is on board, but the husband says he’d prefer to continue with his existing supply – (fair enough except….). On further investigation by my mate, the wife concedes that the husband’s existing supplier is a roaster that will come front of shop to meet the husband and whisper sweet nothings into his ear. This makes the husband feel special and overrides what for most people would be a commonsense decision to switch suppliers – because the wife says her husband’s current supplier’s beans taste like pus…
Is this you or someone you know? Have you been made to feel special and pledged blinding loyalty as a result? Don’t feel silly – it’s a simple marketing technique – and if the beans are great, then no stress. Unfortunately, if the beans you’re getting as part of this ‘technique’ are poor, then you’re being blinded to this and hamstrung by it…
Do you get your beans from the supermarket? Why? Is it because you’re there, you realise you’re low or have run out and throw it into the trolley on your way passed? Do you have any idea how many roasters are out there that can supply fresh – that actually care or are fussy about what you might be drinking? Do your supermarket beans display their roast date – the answer to this is almost 100% no – they display their expiry date, which is usually 1 year from the month of the roast date. Did you know that beans are only really good for 3 to about 4 weeks (max) after the roast date? After this time, their flavours noticeably start to decline.
If this is all you’ve ever tried (the supermarket stuff), have you considered taking a chance and trying freshly roasted beans? Most people spend a fair amount of time on the net – do a quick search for a local roaster and make contact – see how truly easy it is to order beans and have them delivered – or – if you live within cooee, drop by and grab a bag. At least this way the beans will be fresh and you get a chance to ask questions and list preferences so that your roaster can better cater to your needs (unlike the generic blends of who knows what from who knows where in a fancy bag from the supermarket) – remember, coffee is special and should be consumed to relieve all of life’s stressors – it really works – guaranteed! 😉
Are you price sensitive? – a lot of people are – and fair enough – but…. Let’s do the maths –
A coffee purchased at a café will set you back somewhere between $4 and $5.
A kilogram of roasted beans will yield between 55 and 70 odd coffees (depending on your basket capacity).
At $20 per kg (supermarket prices), you’re paying 29 to 37 cents for the coffee.
At $30 per kg (roaster prices), it’s 43 cents to 54 cents for a coffee. (all pricing relative to the basket capacity of your coffee machine).
Add 25 cents for 250mls of milk and it costs 54 to 63 cents for supermarket pus that probably barely beats International Roast (very sorry to the roasters for international roast, but sometimes the truth must be told) – and 68 to 79 cents for your homemade fresh cup of boutique excellence that should keep rolling on your tastebuds for 20 minutes or more and stay in your mind for hours.
So, basically you can see a huge upgrade in your cup taste for between 14 and 16 cents per cup…. Not much to pay to change what you’re putting into your mouth from toilet to potential perfection…
What would you rather – a headache or a memory of peace, tranquillity and life changing perfection?…
If you’re taking the time to buy beans – take a little more time and care to buy beans that will impress you and make the effort worthwhile.
Think long and hard about the motivators behind your purchase. Coffee should be more than a wake up drink or something to have instead of water or with a bit of cake. Coffee is an experience. Something to be shared with friends or a partner. Something to melt away issues associated with the daily grind, letting them gently fade into the background – if only for a time.
Why would you EVER compromise on flavour quality when coffee represents all this and more….
I have 4 kids and they all know that Coffee comes before Kids alphabetically – as it does (or at least it should) in adult priorities in life – I’m kidding for those that may take me too seriously… (the kids do give me lip on this from time to time). Coffee is a socially accepted norm. Something you can actually do in front of your kids without visitors frowning upon you. I enjoy the careful process of preparing and then enjoying a coffee with my wife as our ‘adult time’. A period during which we can talk more about us rather than any issues with the kids or the world.
Then there are the time poor pod users. Put your hand up if you’re a pod user…. Now, use your other hand to smack yourself in the back of the head… pods start as freshly roasted coffee (at some point in their very distant past), the coffee is then mass ground – losing a good percentage of its fine oils and flavourful acids in the process. They are then packaged and sent out to be consumed at any time before dinosaurs walk the earth again…
It is a big hurdle (making great coffee) when you’re time poor. I shouldn’t be so critical due to the fact that you’re still drinking coffee (which is a good thing) – but, to be honest, it’s more like bitter water than coffee. If you want to go a step further and save the $50 on the cost of buying a bargain pod machine, you could just stir in a spoon of alum to a cup of hot water – they’ll both taste the same – but this way, you can better subscribe to your ‘time poor’ stance…
I cannot recommend a great automatic all in one machine within the market place to replace your pod machine unfortunately (there are some ok ones, but they don’t compare to the manual machines) – especially when most of the auto machines are priced between $1,500 and $3,000…. and with cheap pod machines going for about $50… and the rubbish that comes out of SOME (not all) of these auto machines is no better than ‘pod water’ (alum water)…
I suppose it comes down to putting a real value on coffee. Is it just something to do when someone visits or maybe as a quick wake up drink on your way to work in the morning – or is it something to dive into and be immersed within and captivated by – being able to share this experience with a fellow drinker and create a memory?… If you do find a great coffee – it will become a fond memory, trust me.
If you are chasing a simple wake up kick, you can buy pure caffeine powder off eBay for about $70 per kg… Take a half teaspoon in water and you’ll be able to fly to work… (via a hospital)…. – incidentally, don’t do this. 2.5gms (half teaspoon) of caffeine is the equivalent of consuming 20 cups of coffee at once – not ideal…
Don’t drink coffee because everyone else does. Don’t drink coffee as something to do whilst having a chat with someone. Never drink coffee that tastes bad. Improve your life, take some time, be inspired to create something truly amazing in a cup.
Coffee’s special. Flavour dictates alone, alternative influence will only taint. Take control. Be rewarded. Full stop.