Coffee Brewing is personal.
Do you like rice? Have you eaten rice?
You might ask – “what has rice got to do with coffee? but answer me first (think in your head), have you had a good rice dish, like Biryani? You might still ask, what has this got to do with coffee! Have you had like a really good risotto or Nasi Goreng or a delicious Spanish Paella, or Sushi or the Korean Bibimpak? you might say this is just stupid, what has any of it got to do with coffee brewing?
But just for a second, think of the best rice-based dish that you have had. Even within our country, you have a variety to choose from, right from Biryani (even that of different kind and origins), puddings “Kheer”, dosas and idlis and so on.
Rice is eaten around the world, but different countries and even different regions within the same country consume it differently. Each country/region has made the grain their own. And we cherish the varieties of rice and the way it’s cooked.
You still ask what has this got to do with coffee brewing? I say, why can’t we have the same diversity along the liking when it comes to coffee.
Coffee is such an amazing experience, why restrict to one or just a few ways of making. Unfortunately, and especially in our country with the current scene in the industry we are constantly trying to imitate the west in terms of what is a good way to brew coffee and what is not.
I say, everyone has their own way of liking something, coming back to rice, I like Biryani, but I don’t like the donne styled one, it’s just not to my liking. But when it comes to coffee, we so easily judge others as to how one likes their coffee brewed. Also, because of the current Social Media and adverts in general that we see across any platform, it’s more of “you should do this to drink good coffee” and “you should use that equipment to get the best coffee”.
But the matter of fact is we fail to understand the MOST important thing in this entire scenario. Who defines what is good and what is best in terms of the coffee that you taste/drink? Only you can define that right? Only if you really like a coffee will you consider it to be good right? Not just because someone else (known guy in the community or industry) said so. You like to brew coffee with a bit of Robusta or even mainly with Robusta, go for it. You like a Pour Over because you think it’s clear and has a pronounced taste, go for it. You like Vietnamese filter coffee because it is kind of sweet and has a strong body, go for it. You like super intense flavour in your espresso – go for it. You like your coffee brewed a little less hot, go for it, you want to add some sugar to it, well go for it.
It is as simple as it can get, only you can decide what you like, explore and experiment a lot …but ultimately only you know what you like. Guidance can be given to explore and introduce you to some incredible coffee but at the end of the day it is your experience and your taste. It is not about what anyone else says. Brewing is so very personal it’s like the truth about your own liking, and there is no “WRONG” in it. So, keep exploring till you find the one!
By Barista on bike
BaristaonBike /Binny, is a full-time trainer and consultant, who loves 2 things, Coffee and motorbikes. He has traveled across India to explore his passion for coffee. And has recently shot a movie on Specialty Coffee in India. One day he wants to travel around the world and spread the word about good coffee from India. He also secretly wants to run his own cafe/bar some day.