(The story of a good cup of coffee)
Coffee has played a crucial role in the development of many societies through recent history. Coffee houses or cafes have been serving prepared coffee for over 500 years starting first in the Arab world and then spreading to the rest of the world.
Since the inception of BAGEL BEAN I have made it my number one priority to be associated with good coffee. This is not as easy as it sounds. There are many facets to producing a really good cup time and time again. I remember Nick Faldo, the famous golfer, once replied, when asked about the golf’s additive qualities, that anyone on any given day can hit a good golf shot. You might not be able to repeat that feat again but that is enough reason for you to return to the golf course again and again looking that elusive shot. It’s the same principle with a good cup of coffee in that anyone can make a good cup, but the trick is to be able to make that same cup day in and day out, never offering less than perfection each time.
I find it mind blowing that some really nice cafes and restaurants have no idea of how to make good coffee. As long as it’s black and hot, then it is seen to be fit for human consumption, which is such a wrong premise. There is a delicate art to the finished product. The grind, the temperature of the water, the warm cup, the warm group handle, the pressure and even the weather has a role to play.
The French press makes a nice coffee but if you have a machine then there are guidelines to follow.
I firmly believe that a bad grind destroys your coffee. You might have invested in a new machine and bought expensive coffee, and you might have checked your water pressure and prepared nice warm cups, but if your grind is wrong then everything fails. The grind is so important to the finished product. You want a nice solid flow not something too fast which produces a weak, tasteless coffee, and, not on the other hand, something dripping out which leaves the coffee bitter and burnt. If I may say so, the flow of coffee from the machine to the cup resembles the curve of a woman’s back towards her waist, delicate and sensual, arching ever so slightly!
It’s amazing but the air temperature outside, and conversely the air temperature inside, also affects the texture of the coffee bean. I have seen the beans change overnight: maybe there is a nice spell of weather which dries the moisture in the coffee bean and then suddenly, when the weather gets really bad and it rains for a week, the coffee bean develops more moisture. In that case, you have to change the grind to suit. A dried out bean requires the grind to be a little coarser and so a bean full of moisture requires the grind to be a little finer, like the feel of silk. Your senses are so important here. Smell your coffee in the cup: does it smell rich, flavoursome, delicate and not too harsh? Does it have a nice creamy top, or crema to give its proper name, which is not too dark but golden like summer wheat? And does it satisfy your own taste buds, giving a smooth and aromatic taste, not a bitter aftertaste like burnt toast!
By checking your grind every day and carefully adjusting it to suit, you can sit back and smile when you achieve that perfect hole in one every time!