My Complex Coffee Love Affair

For years I hated coffee. Absolutely couldn’t stand it!

I remember the bitter taste that came out of the Folgers or Maxwell House tin cans in my parents pantry. Every time I tried it I was disappointed. How could something that smelled so good taste that bad? When it was brewing in my parents coffee maker the whole house would fill with a pleasant but deceiving aroma. Normally when something smells good it tastes good. That freshly baked, homemade apple pie smells AND tastes good so does a nice juicy hamburger. So what was up with coffee? I simply vowed to stay away from the bitter black liquid.

Then came college. What a perfect time to try substances that I vowed to never touch! Coffee and I finally made an agreement to tolerate each other. Really this was out of necessity to allow me to function during those early morning Physics and Organic Chemistry classes. But that compromise came with a cost.

See, I didn’t really drink coffee. I drank a touch of coffee packaged in a sugar bomb. The friendly folks at Caribou Coffee in the campus bookstore gladly served me my daily large Turtle Mocha, combining espresso with chocolate, steamed milk and topping it all with a large dollop of whipped cream, caramel sauce, and Snicker’s pieces. My college-age idea of my daily coffee rang in at a cool 910 calories and 95 grams of sugar.

What. Was. I. Thinking???

Fortunately, that gateway sugar bomb led me to discover coffee. But the road wasn’t without its bumps. Along the way I explored different regional coffees, dabbled with Keurig coffee makers out of connivence, and eventually became a loyal Starbucks customer. Then I found specialty coffee. I moved to Oregon and began exploring the small local coffee shops and roasters, who were producing different, unique coffees. When I traveled, I began exploring the local independent coffee joints rather than searching for the nearest big coffee chain. What I discovered is that coffee, good coffee, is an amazing, complex drink that I genuinely enjoy.

Determined to make great coffee at home, I continued exploring and reading. This project is an extension of that. This is my way of sharing my story and my journey with coffee. I’m not an experienced barista, a coffee buyer, or a licensed Q grader. However, I am someone who loves coffee, enjoys roasting my own coffee at home, and I am excited to share what I learn and discover. I hope you’ll join me on this delicious, caffeinated journey.

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