Wednesday, December 09, 2009

O Where O Where Has the Good Coffee Gone?

I am struggling with my current coffee situation.

I have a bean grinder and so I like to buy whole bean coffee when I can and then grind just enough each morning to make a pot. This is -- as far as I know -- the freshest way to make coffee at home. And usually it means that I am happy with the joe coming out of my coffee maker. Lately, not so much.

Last year I collected many a gift card to Starbucks. My coffee loving disposition was such that everyone thought of me and then thought of America's leading coffee retailer. Problem is, I don't like Starbucks coffee. Sure, their froufrou drinks are nice, but I rarely have a latte or cappuccino now that I don't work in a coffee shop. And I tend to like the local shops better if I'm going to sit and work inside the coffee shop. So I decided to spend my gift card money on whole beans that I could take home and grind then brew in the morning.

Even getting the lightest roast the barista could show me (breakfast blend, or something morning-ish), I couldn't deal with the darkness of the roast after a few days. [this is my main issue with Starbucks: the roast is so dark that it's nice once and a while but not every day.] So I've been cutting it with cheap grocery store beans. The result hasn't always been pleasant.

Actually the best combination is grinding out enough Starbucks beans for 4 cups of coffee and then adding a heaping tablespoon of Target brand decaf flavored coffee (already ground) to smooth it out. I've been using their "vanilla cinnamon nut" which is fabulous. It's also sort of crazy.

Here I am with my $10 bag of Starbuck whole beans that is meh, and a $5 bag of ground Target coffee which is wow!

The stuff in the bulk bins of my local grocery is just. plain. awful. I grab a few ounces of that any time I think I'm about to run out and I need something to hold me over ... and it never ends happily no matter what roast or flavor I pick to purchase. I think they don't sell enough coffee and that it just sits in the dispensers. Or else there's something else off with their storage system.

I've also had really good luck with Folgers flavored coffees. But there are two problems with those: (1) it tends to be stale by the time I get to the bottom of the canister (even the small one) and (2) they don't come in flavored decaf.

My new issue in life is incapacitating headaches, so I'm trying a bunch of changes to my life style and diet to try and get them to go away. One of which is cutting back on caffeine. Damnit Folgers, can't you work with me on this?

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