Chris Kresser takes on the long held belief of coffee being an unhealthy vice and explains why most people don't need to feel guilty for having their 3rd or 4th daily cup.

In his latest podcast Chris lays out all the reasons why coffee is actually healthy....for most people. I follow most of Chris' work in the health and nutrition world. His research of research is as good as anyone's and I really respect his opinions. He isn't a die hard "paleo" guy but more of a natural foods and natural living guy. He is a also a firm believer in everybody being different. Still, he lays out a convincing case of why most of us shouldn't feel guilty for drinking coffee. It's worth the listen.

I am glad I didn't buy the Behmor 1600 last year when I was thinking of upgrading to a larger roaster. They have unveiled the "1600 Connected" with roasting app integration. It comes out in September and for "only" $600 it is a great deal. Read the full story and Daily Coffee News.

Press App

In my never ending search for the best coffee brewing and logging app, I am now trying out Press and so far I am really liking it. They have said some great upgrades are coming. For example, the ability to add pictures to your coffee logs. Anyway, test if for yourself. Go spend a few bucks so these folks continue to develop this app. It has really great potential and has become my top used coffee app as of late.

Finding the Middle Again

Well, I've gone and done it. Somehow over the course of trying not to be overly fussy about my coffee I went to far the other way. I have been drinking coffee like it was water and losing my sense of what is crap and what is good. January and February are typically extra busy months for my real job so I blame life for this swing to swill.

I think It started over the holidays when I had a cold. I don't take medicine so instead I chug coffee and water. Other than the having to go pee every 10 minutes, it is quite effective. With my sinuses blocked I couldn't taste and I came out of that cold addicted to "coffee on demand". I forgot what good coffee tasted like. I forgot the most important part of what got me so into coffee in the first place. The experience.

I wasn't appreciating the cup. I was chugging caffeine. I feel like I owe it to myself to slowly enjoy the cup and lately, I haven't been doing so.

With this in mind, it's time to get back into tasting more coffees. I have shut down roasting for the Winter. It's too cold in the garage this time of year. Instead, I'm going to restart a coffee subscription. I haven't decided which one yet. All the ones I have done in the past have changed recently. MistoBox has grown and now offers full bags as well as their 4 small samples. Tonx is no more and is instead a Blue Bottle subscription program. Counter Culture has rebranded but still seems to offer amazing coffees. A new entrant is Moustache Coffee Club. I am thinking about giving them a try. We'll see. 

As for my newest hobby I mentioned, hand tool woodworking, I'm really enjoying it but haven't done much over the past month. I still haven't lost the excitement over it. I am consuming everything I can get me hands on. It's a really neat community. My business gets back to "normal" after February so I look forward to roasting and creating some wood shavings real soon.

I put a little milk in my coffee several times this weekend...and I enjoyed it. It wasn't much milk but it was just enough to change the mouthfeel of the coffee and give it a little more of a creamier texture.

I don't look down on people who add cream or milk to their coffee. Unless it is 2% milk or fat free milk. That just makes no sense to me. Oh and sugar. I can't get behind that either.

Brewing One Way

I haven’t been on the site much lately. It’s not because I haven’t had time. It is because I have been redirecting the time I used to spend on the site writing to a new hobby. Handful woodworking. I have really gotten into it. Anyway, I am not abandoning the site but I must won’t update as often as I used to. I think it is better this way. I didn’t like the few times I posted something because I felt like I needed to do so. Who knows, maybe I will post a little bit about my newest hobby here in the future. Either way, stay subscribed. I'm not getting rid of the site. When I do post, it will be of higher quality. I’m just not into that quantity game right now.

Let me leave you with this thought. Lately, I haven’t been brewing in a lot of different ways. I have been mainly grabbing the AeroPress and that’s it. I haven’t had the desire to experiment. I haven’t wanted to tinker with my “recipe”. I’ve just been sticking to what I feel is most consistent. The downside is consistency can be boring and boring doesn’t really give me much to write about.

Further Thoughts On Palate Changes

I have written a couple of posts about how my coffee preference seems to change with the seasons. It seems my palate and taste preference has also changed over the past few years.

Around 2012 or so I stopped drinking beers. I started living a very strict paleo/primal lifestyle. I gave up all grains. I didn’t even eat grains on cheat days. The bread and pasta was no big deal. I had, however, grown in love with the rapidly growing craft beer industry. It was a tough break up. One of the reasons I really got into coffee more was because I needed something to replace the love I had for the craft beer industry and the craft coffee industry took it’s place. Earlier this Summer I began experimenting with adding beer back into my diet on Saturdays. I am back on the craft beer train. I only drink my gluten.

It didn’t take long before I realized my taste in beer styles shifted. I wasn’t a big fan of hoppy beers before. I liked them ok but I didn’t love them. To my surprise I not only love hoppy IPAs but I can now easily distinguish between some of the different types of hops and can pick out a West-coast style vs an East-coast style with ease. I think a couple of things played a big role in the expansion of my palate and change in tastes. Coffee and wine.

Even before starting on a paleo/primal diet1 I very rarely had beer during the week. But, I have coffee ever single day. Over the past 2.5 years I have had hundreds of different types of coffees from all over the world and from too many roasters to count. I savored most of these cups. I read the tasting notes and tried to develop a better idea of what specifically I liked about certain types. I was ultimately drawn to the more complex flavors I believe are found especially in Ethiopian coffee. One of the most fascinating things was the change in flavors an individual cup can have as it cools to room temperature.

During this same time period I increased my consumption of wine quite a bit. In fact, I have a small 5 ounce glass most days. Again, not surprisingly, I was drawn to reds. With the help of my wife and visits to a lot of vineyards and wineries2 and was able to pick out specific tasting notes and develop a taste profile I liked. Since I mostly drink red wine, I do so mostly at room temperature or just below room temperature.

Tasting coffee and wine almost daily aided in my palate development but so did the temperatures at which I enjoyed them. Enter my emergence back into craft beer consumption. I now like my beers to “warm up” a bit. This is the true way to get the full taste profile. In the same way Starbucks likes to over roast their beans and serve their coffee scalding hot to hide the lack of true flavor, large beer producers want you to drink their beers “ice cold”. It helps hide the total lack of flavor.

Training your palate to experience and enjoy new tastes is important if you expect to roast good coffee. Had I not exposed my palate to so many different types of flavors I would probably still be conditioned to think Starbucks coffee is “good”.

  1. I say primal because I am currently eating dairy pretty regularly which isn’t technically allowed by the strictest of paleo folk ↩

  2. I am lucky enough to live near the infinitely growing Virginia wine regions ↩