Big deal you say. Yes it was I reply. Not that long ago if you served me a black coffee, let alone a short black I would have sprayed it in your face. Not intentionally of course but black coffee to me was like drinking a cup of hot road tar. Not something to be consumed but instead poured on your driveway for added traction. So how did this change come about you may ask. Even if you didn’t ask here I go.
I have always been a cappuccino drinker. Well not strictly true as I drink instant coffee well back in the day but that is now a distant and embarrassing memory. My cappuccino was accompanied by a sweet usually a involving a substantial piece of cake with lashings of cream. The coffee itself was always completed with two heaped teaspoons of sugar. That was what a coffee was for me – frothy cappuccino with heaps of sugar.
I always knew sugar was not good for me but I was never going to give up the cake so it was the coffee that would have to make the sacrifice. First I cut back to one sugar. Yes it was a painful process but it had to happen. After a year or two I finally decided to drop the sugar altogether. That’s right a totally unsweetened cappuccino.
This was where I made a huge discovery. Only crappy coffee needs sugar. If the coffee is made to perfection (or even close) there is no bitterness to the coffee. It tastes great without sugar. I now judge a coffee by whether it needs sweetening. If it does – bad barista.
So back to the black coffee. I have always been impressed by people sipping on small cups of black coffee. Doc Martin is a good example. How do you drink that black pool of bitterness and keep a smile on your face? I have tried several times and never got through a full cup.
But then this morning I tried a a small black espresso and to my suprise enjoyed it and drank the lot. Not saying that I prefered it but I can definitely see me doing it more. OK it did take me years to arrive at this but now I know how smooth a really good coffee can be black is definitely on the menu.
PS I did go through a skinny latte stage but thankfully my friends threw an intervention and I moved on.