I’m a coffee lover. I drink it every morning, and sometimes several times throughout the day. I don’t drink coffee black. I add cream and sugar, and sometimes I’ll add flavored creamer or a teaspoon of cocoa mix if I’m feeling fancy.
When I describe coffee, I don’t use the language of baristas and professional roasters. It’s not because I’m trying to be some rebel, it’s because I don’t have the knowledge (yet) to back up the language. So, when coffee is good, it’s good. And when coffee is bad, that’s usually when I can find more words to describe it. Funny how that works.
So, I’m on a quest to learn the language of the coffee cupping masters. If I experience a cup of coffee that has a bright flavor with hints of chocolate and orange, I want to be able to discern those flavors for myself and actually know that that’s what I’m tasting. Then I can accurately describe the flavors and character of the coffee without feeling like I’m grasping at straws.
Describing coffee doesn’t have to be some pretentious event.
So, if coffee is good, should I say things like the roast is dark and smoky and feels full? If I said that, would anyone understand? Perhaps I’ll need to develop my own language, describe coffee in terms of emotion, how the coffee makes me feel as I drink it.
At the core, I feel like the culture surrounding coffee can be a daunting one, especially to someone who lacks the language, but I’d prefer to experience coffee in my own way. Yes, I’m curious of the language of coffee and I’d like to understand it so that I can relate what I’m tasting to the appropriate description for it, but I’m not interested in the haughtiness that’s associated with all of that.
Now to find some great resources to begin my understanding…