[oclug] [OT] - Coffee
miden at travel-net.com
Mon Aug 21 13:06:09 EDT 2006
Amazing how passionate and particular some of us can be about our
coffee. Well, about anything really. I can remember my mother walking
into our kitchen many years ago and carefully explaining to my wife the
correct way to boil water. Fortunately, my wife is a very polite person
though that did test her limits.
My wife, by the way, is the better cook.
On Mon, 2006-08-21 at 09:58 -0400, Stephen Webb wrote:
> Rod Giffin wrote:
> > ... It is an acquired taste, coffee is actually an almost harsh drink,
> > and is enjoyed by most of the world in almost twice teh concentration
> > that we drink it here in North America. Dark coffee's usually have an
> > acidy taste, and almost flowery herbal aroma. It's marketed as "full
> > bodied". Canadians idea of "full bodied" coffee is that watery brown
> > stuff marketed by a certain donut shop. What the heck, they make tons
> > of money off it so why not? But it's a blended coffee of processed
> > beans, with a taste professionally designed and subdued for the North
> > American palate. In Europe, they would spit it out as tasteless.
> Most people seem to think that by obtaining cheap beans, carbonizing
> them, then scalding hte tarnation out of them with too-hot water makes
> goof coffee. This is a cardinal sin.
> The Europeans are prime among these sinners. They prefer to carbonize
> the beans to remove all flavour and destroy most of the caffeine in a
> process known as "French roast". They then like to destroy any
> remaining flavour and caffeine be extracting the tannins and greases
> using a steam process known as "making espresso," the result of which is
> a tar-like substance which lacks any of the subtle finesse of the bean
> they may have started with. They then walk around with their noses in
> the air like people who claim they can tell the difference between a CD
> and a lossless copy of the same CD.
> Turkish/Greek/Arabic coffee if made in a similar way, except rather than
> using steam, they raise the infusion to the vapour point several times.
> Same effect on the volatiles and alkaloids.
> I've encountered many a coffee snob proud of how many mugs of
> caffeine-free burnt coffee she can down in a single day. I'm
> impressed: you could probably get as much caffeine from the same amount
> of Kool-Aid. Caffeine is a clear colourless flavourless liquid. Don;t
> be mislead by how bad your coffee tastes.
> North Americans tend to prefer either cheap bad beans carbonized,a la
> Starbucks, or just cheap bad beans a la Tim Horton's (and just about
> every cup of coffee I've ever had in the U.S.A.). At least Tim's has
> caffeine, not just placebo.
> If you want to try to appreciate fine coffee, I would suggest you want
> to try a light roast of a low-acid bean (varieties vary) from Costa Rica
> (regions vary). made by a simple conical drip system using
> well-oxygenated water that has not yet come to the boil, but is just
> about to (97 C or so at Ottawa's altitude). The less time the water
> spends in contact with the grounds, the less tannins and harsh overtones.
> Drink it black to appreciate the flavour and subtleties of the coffee
> itself. Add cream for a variation of heaven (mmm, fat). I do not
> recommend sugar, but others seem to like it.
> Once you've tried actual coffee, it's hard to appreciate that foul burnt
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