The other day, I decided to try whole bean coffee from Starbucks. It was the first time that I had Starbucks in a very long time, and I’m glad that I don’t miss it. After making one cup of coffee, the smell and taste were not pleasant, to say the least.
Craft coffee, specialty coffee, 3rd wave coffee, whichever label you use, ever since I got into it, my taste for coffee has drastically changed. There were brief periods during high school where I was drinking Starbucks to develop a taste for coffee because everyone else was drinking coffee, so why not experience a caffeine addiction like everyone else?
Relatable to most people getting into something new, I had no idea where to start in terms of what to drink. I always knew that Starbucks had a vast array of options since you can order pretty much any sort of ‘coffee’ drink if they had the ingredients behind the bar. I started with something simple, a café latte. As soon as I started drinking it, I realized that a latte has too much milk for my liking. The next drink that I tried was a cappuccino, and I had better luck with that. There wasn’t nearly as much milk compared to a latte and I could taste some of the coffee. A cappuccino became one of my go-to espresso drinks, and it still is to this day. Another drink that I tried, through Starbucks, was a mocha. The mocha changed my life, I loved it! Maybe it’s the chocolate, maybe it’s because Starbucks sells mochas in glass bottles at the grocery store, but for most of my senior year of high school, I was drinking a mocha in the morning. Maybe I had a sugar addiction instead of a caffeine addiction, either way, I couldn’t get enough of the mocha.
Outside of Starbucks drinks, I would drink coffee from any place that served it and see if it would taste decent to my tongue. Whenever I was consuming coffee, I became like most people, I’d add creamer and sugar to it because that’s what everyone else around me was doing. If I ordered a cappuccino, I would add sugar. If it was diner style drip coffee, I’d add creamer and sugar. Everywhere I went, I was always drinking coffee with something added to it, whether it was milk, creamer, sugar, chocolate, anything that would cover up the taste of the coffee. I realized later on in life that I didn’t appreciate the taste of coffee by itself.
Black Coffee, no room, please
I don’t quite remember when it started, but at some point during my senior year of high school, I gave straight coffee a shot, because I honestly didn’t know what it tasted like by itself. At Starbucks and other coffee chains, I tried out americanos. The experience was very new to me since I had never drunk black coffee before in any form. I never really liked americanos at Starbucks or coffee chains (I would later find out that it was due to a multitude of quality-related reasons) so I tried out drip coffee at restaurants and diners. A diner that had always been my go-to was Waffle House. I don’t know what it is, but Waffle House is just an amazing place with amazing food and even better drip coffee. Waffle House’s drip coffee tasted pleasant to me and I grew to enjoy it without having to add anything to it. The drip coffee wasn’t perfect by any means, but it complemented the food that I was eating.
The 3rd Wave
When Aidan got me into specialty coffee and we visited coffee shops, that’s when my general taste for coffee began to transform into something new. I’ve mentioned it plenty of times at this point, but craft coffee is simply amazing, it’s similar to a fine wine. In the history of coffee, the third wave of coffee is a blessing and has turned coffee into a wonderful beverage.
I think it’s important to remind yourself to appreciate good quality coffee. After having Starbucks for the first time in years, I’m fortunate to know what craft coffee is and know how much better of an experience you have drinking it.