I never liked coffee, even with tons of cream and sugar it was just too bitter for me. I assumed it was something people suffered through in order to stay awake. The word coffee instantly transported me back to late nights in college scrambling to get through a paper due the next morning.
Almost immediately after we moved to San Francisco, Ryan claimed that he could introduce me to coffee that tastes exponentially better than the chain, restaurant and hotel coffee I had tried. I like to think I have an open mind, and that was all it took to reset my preconceptions.
My journey to the appreciation of coffee was by no means quick and easy. As with anything of value in life it took many turns and a lot of good, and bad, cups of coffee. Looking back, I see three distinct phases of change.
1) Realization that coffee is not always bitter. This was the quickest and most eye-opening phase for me. I remember trying a pour-over coffee from Blue Bottle before adding cream and sugar. It was so balanced and sweet that I went for another sip and completely forgot about the usual additives. If fresh and prepared properly, coffee is naturally sweet and stands beautifully on its own.
2) Tasting the nuances. Once I understood coffee was not a bitter drink, I began to look for the subtle differences of each coffee. This led me to ask questions and learn more about how it was processed and prepared and the effect it had on my cup. In San Francisco, this was easy as I frequented cafes such as Four Barrel, Sightglass, and Ritual.
3) Finding my perfect cup. The most gratifying phase for me is applying my experiences to my own taste. I tend to look for coffees featuring nutty flavor notes backed up by berry sweetness because I find it pairs well with my one true love, chocolate. I never thought there could be anything greater than chocolate, but trust me, chocolate paired with coffee will make any day better.
If you are not a coffee person or if you are drinking only for the caffeine, come find me or shoot me an email at miranda@slipstreamDC.com. We would love to help you appreciate how special coffee can be and discover your own perfect cup. And if it turns out you still do not like coffee, Slipstream will have plenty of tea, chocolate, cocktails and food options you are sure to love!