Sunday, September 4, 2016

Colorado: Coffee Trials

Ethiopian coffee ceremony at friend's house, Washington, D.C. 2007.

On my way in to my sister Murphy's place, where I was to stay for a month, I picked up some flavored coffee, already ground.

I shortly discovered that Murphy had no coffee-making paraphernalia except for a small, one-cup French press. Oi.

Don't get me wrong. I like coffee from a French press. The thing is, though, the coffee I'd brought wasn't the right grind for a French press. Also, it takes a good six minutes just to let the ground coffee steep in the French press before you can drink it. And that's after you've heated up the water to the right temperature. One little cup at a time in Murphy's baby French press.

Coffee in Lalibela, Ethiopia. 2011.

I tried to make it work, but it was excruciating to have to wait, over and over again, for a small cup of less-than-mediocre coffee. Murphy had some ground coffee in the freezer that past visitors had left, but still, it just wasn't doing it for me.

Even if I were to schlep to the store, buy a supply of good-quality coffee in the bean, and grind it to the right French press standard, I'd still have that impatient wait for each cup.

So it was back to the instant coffee for me. I'd buy my go-to favorite, Nescafe Taster's Choice French Roast.

But then I had a thought.

Coffee on kilim, Istanbul, Turkey. 2012.

Why don't I peruse the reviews of presumptive instant-coffee connoisseurs, and try out the alleged best of the instant brews?

So I did and here's one example of a review list.

Starbucks Instant was in the top five in any review list I looked at, but it was cost-prohibitive for me, which eliminated it from my personal testing list.

Jabena for coffee making. Washington, D.C. 2007.

Other Top 10s were either unavailable to me locally or they, like Starbucks, exceeded my budget ceiling.

But I tried out two brands with top marks: Bustelo and Medaglia d'Oro. Disappointing. Neither had a pleasing aroma. One had a chemical note. The flavors were nondescript.

I returned to my old lover, Nescafe Taster's Choice French Roast.

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