One of my favourite customers of all time was a middle-aged woman. She ordered an espresso and proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes talking to me about coffee. She had apparently just found out that you can “get into coffee just like you can get into wine.” I recommended roasters she should look into, and shops around Toronto that would push her all the way into the rabbit hole.
She never came back, at least not while I was working. I like to imagine that she’s started roasting at home, and spends most of her free time hunched over her Chemex with a pocket scale, a pipet, and a digital refractometer.
But it made me realize that a lot of people probably don’t realize how passionate (see: insane) people get about coffee. I mean, until a few years ago, I thought it was just old people and construction workers who drank coffee, and that the only way to make it was in a KitchenAid coffee maker, or, if they were over 75, in a percolator.
There are dozens of ways to brew coffee. Some involved incredibly expensive machines, others involve a mason jar. Some involve an egg. There are also two popular species of the genus “coffea”: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canefora (or Robusta). Then there are different varieties of Arabica beans, the most common of which are Bourbon and Typica. All of these factor in to how a cup of joe tastes.
Ugh. Okay. So, got a bit carried away there. What I’m trying to say is that with all of these variables and with a culture that has a tendency to scare people away (either through overwhelming them with information, like what I just did, or by being overly snobby), it’s no wonder that we’re still considered outside of the mainstream. Plus, it doesn’t even get you drunk, like being a wine snob does!
SO! In effort to help those in need of a coffee mentor, every week, I’m going to be talking about a particular type of coffee that *I* consider to be a good one. I invite you all to join me and pick up a bag (or, if you know me IRL, come over and we’ll drink coffee until we’re jittery). The only way to start getting into coffee is to start drinking coffee! Don’t worry. I’ll be using a variety of brewing methods, so hopefully you’ll have one of them.
This is going to be so cool! It’ll be like BOOK CLUB! But with COFFEE instead of BOOKS!
…Do you think there is a fight/book club? Where they either talk about literature while beating the crap out of each other? Or where they beat each other with sacks full of books? Or they just beat up books? I think that would be hilarious. Let’s start that too.