Perfect coffee

CupIs there any such thing? I’d say no. There are numerous ineffable coffee drinking experiences, of which you can have your share if you’re willing to observe certain fairly simple practices. Really good coffee isn’t some sort of unattainable goal, we are after all talking about a breakfast beverage here!

The fact that good coffee is almost nonexistent in practice has as much to do with volume and profit as it does with how hard it is to produce. The chief issues are due to the fact that coffee is actually a quintessentially local product, because once roasted it has such a short shelf life. In this case local means locally roasted, not grown, but the time between roasting and brewing is the critical point, when considering proximity. Processing and storage can greatly affect coffee’s quality, and improper handling in brewing can kill it just as surely, but most readily available “specialty” coffee dies on the grocer’s shelf.

Photo: Olga Pavlovsky on flickr, adapted. License: CC BY-2.0