Drinking coffee is odd at times. No, not the actual process of drinking coffee itself, but the stigmas attached to it. On one end of the spectrum you have blue collar miners packing a thermos full of (probably bad grocery store) black coffee in their lunch pails for the day. Gritty, hard-working, tough as nails and their coffee smells (and tastes) as bad their clothes at the end of their shift (or worse). At the other end of the spectrum you have bearded skinny jeans-wearing city-dwelling hipsters who're faux-gritty also drinking black coffee. The difference though is not about who's drinking coffee but the actual quality of coffee itself.
When most people think of coffee they think of the kind that miners drink and not hipsters. Meaning, mass produced stuff that is roasted dark (charred) with tasting notes of burnt tires, hamster pellets, and week-old meatloaf. As a result, when the conversation comes up about drinking coffee black the usual response is "no way!" You see, you need to add a whole bunch of milk and sweetener to make those coffees palatable. So why drink coffee black?
Coffee is actually wonderfully flavorful and complex. There are dozens of tasting notes that you can pick up (think of wine tasting). Even a quick glance through our coffees you'll notice flavor notes of red grape, sweet peach, citrus, toasted oats, candied nuts, etc. When you add milk (or soy milk, almond milk, etc) as well as sweetener you actually mask the flavor notes. But rest assured, we all start someplace. This is not about coffee snobbery but about enjoying coffee for what it is.
Let's work on a progression to get you to transition to drinking coffee black. Are you ready? Here's a step-by-step process if you're already adding milk and sweetener to your coffee:
- Cut the amount of milk you add by 1/3 for one month.
- Cut the amount of sweetener you add by 1/2 for the 2nd month.
- Cut the amount of milk you add by another 1/3 for the 3rd month.
- Cut out all sweetener in the 4th month.
- Cut out all milk in the 5th month.
- For now on drink coffee black. Be proud. You made it.
Ok, so maybe you're thinking, why drink coffee black? Aside from the above mentioned reasons about the ability to actually taste your coffee it sure makes life easier and simpler. Think about your next camping trip or race weekend or even bikepacking trip. Imagine waking up in the morning, brewing your coffee and then bam! ... drinking it straight ... black. No need to pack any kinds of milk or soy milk or sugar or fake sugar and so on. Just straight black coffee and enjoying the complexity of flavor notes that coffee has.
So there you have it. This is your 6-step program to break away from your addiction to milk and sweeteners. But first of all you might need to admit that you do have a problem.