How I got hooked

My curiosity about coffee started when my wife brought home some ground coffee from Starbucks during one of her trips in Manila, so that finally, we can use the coffeemaker given to her as a gift long ago. “Wow, this is nice,” I said.

Miyam was more into coffee, while I was the SwissMiss kind of guy, preferring hot chocolate. But having brewed coffee at home changed that, and I switched to coffee full-time. Since we’re a million miles away from the nearest Starbucks branch, we bought what was more readily available — either the already ground Monk’s Blend from the monastery in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, or the whole beans from Bo’s Coffee Club, which I had ground in the coffee shop coz I didn’t have a grinder then. Both are available in neighboring Cagayan de Oro City, 90 kilometers away.

We enjoyed these coffees in our ignorance, as I’m sure many of you do. Then we debated how to store coffee properly. Maybe a glass container with a tight lid? Is cork enough? Or should it have a rubber lining serving as a gasket? Until I came across this wonderful essay on “Freshness & Coffee Storage.”
Read more

Look who came for coffee!

Coffee buddies

Some of my coffee buddies, sipping Brazil Moreninha Formosa and Yemen Mokha Sanani. Such an international crowd, eh? (L-R) Rogier from The Netherlands, Fr. Henri from Cameroon, Fr. Adam from Tanzania (but he loves to joke he’s Bol-anon), Mathieu from France, and yours truly. When I text these people if they wanna drop by for coffee, I always get a big YES! Sometimes they’d even invite themselves. In this case, Mathieu said he’d love to have one more coffee session before he leaves for France for good in the next few days. Our sort of “despedida” party for Math, over some cups of freshly roasted specialty coffee and sweets from Candy’s. Bon voyage!

The secret to good coffee

The secret to good coffee is … tadaaaaa … freshly roasted good quality coffee beans! Actually, it’s no secret at all, coz it’s been discussed gazillion times over the Web.

Coffee is just like most foods — best if freshly cooked, sucks if stale. Simple as that. That’s why I just don’t understand why most coffee shops, despite the hundreds of thousands of pesos, maybe even millions, they spend on the place, equipment and staff training, just don’t get this. Have you tried eating your favorite dish a month or two after it was cooked? Is it as good as when it was fresh? You may put it in the ref, or even freezer, vacuum pack it, then microwave it later, but your stale favorite dish just can’t match the one that’s freshly cooked. It may even taste ugly.

I’m not saying that the best equipment won’t contribute to good coffee. But if you start with stale coffee beans in the first place, the best equipment just can’t do anything to improve the taste of your coffee.

“So, Bob, why not just buy freshly roasted coffee beans?” Read more

So you love coffee?

Chances are, your early morning cup of java, or even your brew from your favorite coffee shop, is …

  • crap, if you’re into instant, and
  • stale, if you’re into brewed coffee.

Well, let’s not even talk instant coffee here, okay? Let’s not waste our precious time. So henceforth, let’s talk about coffee, the beverage that comes from a bean, not powder.

I can read what’s in your mind: “Stale?! Wait, Bob, my coffee is from that giant company with a mermaid in its green logo! Some are even imported from Italy! They even have beautiful shiny packaging with exceptional design. And you say these are stale coffee?”

Unfortunately, YES, they’re stale coffee. In my native tongue — “Bahaw!” Read more

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