I often like to joke that, “I like my women like my coffee: tepid, bitter, and likely to give me heartburn.”
And, while this line invariably amuses my friends (while having a solid 0% success rate as a pick-up line) it actually isn’t terribly far from my true feelings towards coffee. That is to say, I honestly don’t care what it tastes like, just give it to me!
Unlike Renata, I do not drink coffee for the flavor. I drink it because I am a caffeine addict who needs it to survive. I’ll drink it hot. I’ll drink it cold. I’ll drink coffee that’s been sitting in the pot since yesterday. As long as it serves its primary function as a caffeine delivery system, I’ll drink it. And, if I don’t drink coffee, it will quickly become apparent to everyone around me.
Now, that is not to say that I don’t enjoy a good pumpkin spice latte or white chocolate mocha. The problem is that I tend to drink coffee very quickly so that I can expedite its effects. This means that I often do not have the chance to “sit and enjoy” a cup of coffee. What’s more, I often usually find myself running around quite a bit in the morning, and will often not get to drink my coffee until well after I have poured the cup. By this time, it’s usually cooled to room temperature anyway, which makes it easier to down in one continuous gulp.
Yes, coffee is bitter by nature, but there are quite a few ways that people mitigate that. For one, there are an abundance of flavored creamers out there which promise to make your morning cup taste like anything from a hazelnut to a birthday cake. There are also an equivalent number of artificial sweeteners that people seem happy to mix into their daily routine without realizing some of the long-term effects. Honestly, I find these optional components to be just that: optional. I mean, thanks to displacement, each drop of creamer and each teaspoon of sweetener means that much less life-giving coffee can actually fit in the cup. I can deal with a little bitterness if it means more of that caffeinated goodness enters my bloodstream.
Beyond that, though, I typically only drink light roasted coffee. Less roasting means more bitterness, but it also means more caffeine. Seriously! Did you know that the roasting process actually begins to break down the caffeine molecules present in the coffee beans, meaning that a dark roast will never perk you up the way a lighter roast will. That’s why the “breakfast blend” is always a light to medium-light roast, so that it gets you wired as much as possible to start your day.
As Renata is fond of reminding me at all opportunities, I am old. What’s more, I am far beyond that wonderful stage in life where your body turns on you and decides it no longer wants to tolerate any of the things you used to enjoy. Coffee is by no means excluded from this list. Thanks to enzymes that break down during the process of brewing a hot cup of coffee, it has become universally known as one of the worst things for your stomach. But all is not lost.
Remember how I said those indigestion causing enzymes were broken down during the process of brewing a hot cup? Well, that’s where “cold brew” coffee comes into play. Cold brew is made by allowing coffee grounds to steep for extended periods of time in cold water. Since no heat ever comes into play, those enzymes never break down, and they pass harmlessly through your stomach. Even better, cold brew (thanks to its extended brewing cycle) has extra time to leech even more caffeine from the grounds. It’s basically like jet fuel in a cup! And because I’m not that much of a jerk, here’s how you can make your own cold brew:
- Mix water and coarse ground coffee in a 2:1 ratio in a sealable container.
- Seal the container and place it in the refrigerator for 12 to 48 hours depending on how strong you want it (anything beyond that won’t yield any additional results).
- Stir or shake the container every 12 to 24 hours.
- Filter the grounds out of the liquid, and store the product in the refrigerator. It’ll keep for up to two weeks (though I’ve never had a batch last that long).
And that’s it! There, I just saved you $20 at Starbucks. You’re welcome.
So, there you have it, the truth behind a line that may not get me a real relationship but perfectly describes my relationship with coffee.