Thursday, October 5, 2017

Coffee Is My New Normal

Coffee w/ Breakfast is a must for my wife. This is a street-side cafe in Santiago, Chile - December 2016

I've been reading a little bit and watching some videos online about coffee (this is a good one). It's an intriguing drink for me as of late. I went through the first thirty-four years of my life without having consumed this drink regularly. Sure I tasted my wife's cup made to her liking, and sure I've had coffee ice cream or any other coffee based products, but I was never one to brew a batch just for myself. It's only recently that I started to make myself a serving in the mornings with my breakfast.

For years there has been constant debate about the effects of coffee. Is it bad for you? Is it good for you? Is it mostly good for you? The most recent studies are finding that coffee is good for you.
Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression. - MayoClinic
Today, the verdict is mostly positive, with study after study extolling the merits of three to five cups of black coffee a day in reducing risk for everything from melanoma to heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer's, computer-related back pain and more. - CNN - September 27, 2017
But it's hasn't been any of these reasons that's pushed me to decide to drink 1 cup a day. This change to my lifestyle was part of my Transition Tuesday life changes that I promised to keep. Coffee, for the plethora of benefits it has, is most useful to me for keeping my metabolism up and helping me flush my system down the drain (if you know what I mean). It has been a part of maintaining my weight.
Egg Coffee - Hanoi, Vietnam

I don't have coffee because I like the taste. In fact, it's too bitter for my liking. My flavor palette is biased towards umami, salty, and sweet. Bitter and sour may as well not be in my vocabulary for how little I care for them. (Bitter melon? No way, Jose.)

For all my dislike of bitterness, it's a wonder how I can stomach the flavor of black coffee. That's how I take my cup. Black. I refrain from adding cream or milk or sugar because, to me, that just nullifies any of the health benefits. I've tasted it with all of the above, and it's delicious - much better than black. But I cannot justify adding calories, specifically sugar, to my body that already has enough fatty deposits.

At home, we're very specific with the brand of coffee we drink. Having a Vietnamese wife, there is an affinity to Cafe Du Monde. It has to do with how strong coffee of Vietnamese origin is and how the coffee-and-chicory blend is a comparable flavor note. Read more here. Their most popular coffee is one that incorporates the root of the chicory plant. Historically, this was added to the blend to add body and flavor and to cut the bitterness of the coffee itself. For the life of me, I cannot find out where Cafe Du Monde's beans come from, but I know that they roast them dark. This all being said, there's a constant comparison between Cafe Du Monde or other Vietnamese coffees to any other coffee we may buy. And when I say that we buy coffee, it's only when we're away from home.

Your only options for Cafe Du Monde - New Orleans, LA, USA - June 2009

I suppose you can say we are brand loyal to Cafe Du Monde. I buy it regularly on Amazon because it goes so quickly. It saves me a run to the Asian grocery store, which by the way, is the only place you can find it around me. You would think that such a well-known brand would be carried by any local grocer, but it is not. Why is that?  The Asian markets carry it, I'm sure, specifically for their Vietnamese clientele.

Anyway, since I drink my coffee black, I've been thinking about venturing around the coffee world to try other flavors and brewing methods. I feel like I would really enjoy a light roast of beans from a mountainous region ground coarsely and put through a french press.

Does any one have any suggestions for me to try? (759)

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