Monday, January 03, 2005

Cup 12: Language of Coffee

cup 12
Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
Location: Living Room, Orono, ME
When: January 3rd, 2005, 7am,
Present: Dot & Dash
Coffee: Maine Roaster's French Roast
Mood: content

I thought I'd go nuts today and use the automatic coffee maker instead of the French press. I used my trusty Capresso Elegance Therm, a $30 bargain I found at T. J. Maxx. I was especially excited when I found it because the stores around here don't sell Capresso. Capresso, you may remember, was started by disgruntled Krups employees who were upset because they felt that Krups was prioritizing the appearance of their coffee makers, not the quailty of the coffee they made. So they set off to build coffee makers that brewed the best cup of coffee at affordable prices, or so the story goes. From what I've tasted, I believe it, and they're the only AD coffee makers I buy or recommend. The Capresso's Therm version suits my needs perfectly. There is no hot plate element to the maker. Heat is maintained using a thermos-like carafe. This has several advantages over typical makers. I find that continual heat tends to bake the coffee and kill the flavor pretty fast. Another enemy of flavor is oxidation, and the Therm seals tight shut. Finally, I am notoriously absent-minded and often forget to turn off the warmer. I'll be at work, in the middle of a lecture, and suddenly realize that I've forgotten it and have to stop and get somebody to go over to my apartment to turn it off. Those days are gone, thanks to the Therm!

The ADC maker made a nice change from the French press. The coffee is... how do I describe the difference? It is like I am trying to create a new language here. How do you describe the taste of a cup of coffee to someone who has never tasted it before? How do you describe the color blue to someone who was born blind? I suppose that this isn't really pioneering work. I'm sure whole glossaries have been made to describe coffee, just as with wine. Oh, here's one: Roasted Coffee Bean. That is all fine, but I've always found wine descriptions to be annoying; simultaneously pretentious and cheating at the same time. Like if you describe a wine as being open, petillent and leggy, you've said a lot to someone who knows what you're talking about while avoiding saying anything. And sometimes I think they're just making it up as they go along. "A subtle yet austere boquet with hints of nobility." Still, there is a language there, so maybe I'll use theirs instead of developing something new.

Using the same kind a quantity of coffee produces strikingly different results between French press and ADC makers. The French press provides a mellower blend with a smoother mouth feel and is on the whole more delicate than that created by the ADCM. In contrast, the ADCM produced more intricate and complex flavor with a longer finish.

Hey! I'm getting there! Soon I can be as confusing and pretentious as the rest of them! And people will pretend they understand what I'm talking about because everyone else seems to know.

Or I could say that the French press makes coffee that has a less complex (though still very pleasing) and is less acidic than the ADCM coffee and for me is a better choice for morning coffee since simple works better for me first thing in the morning, and because it is usually a good hour or two after I wake up before I put anything into my stomache, while ADCM coffee would be a better choice to go with dessert, since its complexity would hold its own against other food.

On another note, morning routine was successful. The cats followed me everywhere. I started The Subtle Knife, the sequel to The Golden Compass. I couldn't spend the whole day reading it, unfortanately. Vacation is ending. Back to the real world.

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