Ralph Waldo Emerson said, …one man’s beauty another’s ugliness… We all have a different perspective on life and its experiences, and that’s important! What a dull life it would be if everyone liked the same things. In fact, we are taught from a very young age to celebrate those differences. Those differences make each of us unique; they make our lives personal.
So it is with coffee. Great coffee.
Now, I’m not talking about the generic commercial coffees available in your grocery store, like Maxwell House or Folgers. I’m talking about the coffee you can get from a coffeehouse roaster, from a micro-roaster, or that you roast at home yourself. I’m talking about coffee that has been roasted a few days or hours ago, instead of a few weeks or months ago.
Coffee becomes personal to us when we can identify with the nuanced flavors associated with that coffee.
There are a few wines that have become highly personal for me. One such wine is the Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros. The vineyard’s own description of this wine says that it …displays vibrant layers of dark plum, raspberry and blueberry fruit character. Hints of espresso and cocoa powder add complexity to the rich fruit aromas and silky, expansive flavors. This is a well-structured wine with supple, rounded tannins and long-lasting fruit and spice notes on the finish. This is a wine that appeals to me. The flavors, the mouth-feel, and the bouquet all play a part in making this wine very desirable for me. My wife and I visited the BV vineyards on a trip to California’s Napa Valley in 1994, which makes the wine personal for me. This wine reminds me of that trip and the wonderful time my wife and I had. The flavors, the mouth-feel, and the bouquet all combine to, not only remind me of that trip with my wife, but to help me relive that experience over and over again. The act of drinking the wine itself becomes an experience.
Great coffee can do that, also! The flavors, the mouth-feel, and the aroma all conspire to transform the act of drinking that coffee into a specific experience of taste!
This past weekend, I roasted a coffee that I hadn’t roasted before; India Mysore coffee. Mysore is a city/district 146 km southwest of Bangalore. This coffee is grown in the Chamumdi hills just outside the city. This coffee became a highly personal coffee for me. No, it didn’t remind me of a trip to Mysore, as I’ve not yet been to India. It did become an experience for me, however. This is a bold and full-bodied coffee with a nice lingering finish. It has deep bittersweet chocolate notes (particularly as the cup cools), smooth acidity, and a creamy/earth-toned mouth-feel. As I sat and enjoyed my first cup, I had a personal experience of taste! I identified with the India Mysore coffee! It was MY experience!
Coffee…GREAT coffee is highly personal.
Enjoy your coffee!