I really believe the act of enjoying a daily cup of coffee (or tea!) is all about mindfulness. Not long ago I started to realize that I was just brewing a cup and chugging it down in a desperate attempt to wake up. I had forgotten the mindfulness part. This led me to search for a new coffee experience. Luckily, I found it at a local coffee roaster. We've all heard of wine tasting before, but did you know that you can do a coffee tasting? Coffee and I have a long love affair (Sometimes at night, I'm excited to go to bed because I know that in the morning I can have coffee... this runs deep). I willingly call myself a coffee snob. Recently, I met a man who calls himself a coffee geek. Preston and I went to a two hour coffee tasting over at Troubadour Coffee in Fairview Park, Ohio. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a dream come true (ok maybe I'm the only one who dreams of talking about coffee). Tony, the owner of Troubadour, sat down with us and started talking about coffee. We covered everything from origins to flavors to storage, grinding, and brewing methods. I learned that dark roast means that the coffee has been roasted a little too long and it can actually mask the natural flavors of the coffee. Color me surprised! I used to think that my dark roast was the more flavorful option. My daily cup of joe is a dark roast bean with some almond milk in it. Tony believes (and successfully made his case) that coffee should only be served black. He pointed out that my need for the milk comes from having too dark of a roast. Interesting.
The best part was when Tony brought out the French Press and brewed us three coffees (seriously, heaven). The first was a light roast. Even as he was pouring the coffee into my adorable little espresso cup to taste, my mind was thinking "I doubt I can do a light roast since I'm so used to dark". We were instructed to put the cup up to our nose, cup a hand around the brim and take a big sniff to get to know the aroma of the coffee before tasting. And then comes the sip. Holy. coffee. This costa rican light roast coffee had a rich body that took over my taste buds. I immediately could taste a fruitiness and Preston noticed a "sunflower seed" taste as it began to cool. The second cup we tried was also done in the French Press. It was another light roast and it had delicious notes of cocoa throughout. We finished off with a Sumatra coffee brewed in a pour over. This coffee was very balanced in it's flavor and was a medium roast. So, no dark roasts and I was a complete convert to this black coffee thing! Not one of them made me miss my creamer and even though I don't add sugar anyways, these coffees had a natural sweetness that should not be covered by any added sugar. In fact, Troubadour coffee so strongly believes in a pure coffee experience that they don't even have cream or sugar on the premises. And I love that. Bottom line, I had a great time and I love what Tony and Troubadour coffee is all about. I think I'll start calling myself a coffee nerd too-it's much better than being a snob anyways :)