There’s nothing like taking that first sip. For me, it’s often painful and a regretful timing on taking the first sip. For others, piping hot is perfect for their feelingless mouth. But the first real sip is the one I’m pining for right now as I write this. You know, after you dunk your nose in your coffee, taking in every speck of the aroma as possible before slurping away. The buildup is just plain excessive with some coffees as I prepare to sip them. After smelling the beans, then the fresh ground beans, then the slurry as I bloom the coffee, and then the actual brewed coffee in the cup–with every step the aroma gets more refined and exciting, sometimes leading me to fully expect a coffee that’ll be overwhelmingly floral, earth, etc. Well then I actually take the first sip, and when I’m smart and wait until it’s cooled a bit, I find the truth of the coffee on my tongue. I am nearly always surprised by the contrast between the smell of a coffee and the taste. It’s usually not a bad surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. I can be anticipating blueberry cobbler based on how a coffee hits my nose, but then take the first sip and find a liquid form of a chocolate tart assaulting my taste buds. It’s glorious.
Maybe all coffee is just coffee for you. If that’s the case, a part of me envies you. You have a unique ability to enjoy the benefits of a caffeine fix and a heart-warming beverage on a budget. I simply cannot anymore. Great coffee isn’t just a luxury item for me, it’s the only option when it comes to consuming coffee. If I ever do consume bad coffee, it’s out of politeness to a host, or of complete necessity for lack of availability of great coffee. If this weren’t the case for me, any old grocery store tin of pre-ground coffee would be my best friend. It’d save me a fortune. But hey, some things are worth the extra money for the satisfaction of my palate.