Some people swear by black coffee, but others find it hard to enjoy when compared to a cappuccino or espresso.
If you’ve tried black coffee in the past and weren’t very impressed, it’s probably because you were drinking the wrong stuff.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing the best coffee to drink black, but once you’ve it, you’ll understand why it’s a great choice for any coffee drinker.
There are some specific things to consider when choosing a black coffee, but the most important is this: do not use mass-produced grocery store coffee (especially instant coffee).
A mass-produced coffee brand is generally low-quality and doesn’t have the richness and complex flavor profile that you can find by drinking specialty coffee produced from independent roasters. Once you know where to look, here are the main things to consider when choosing a good black coffee.
Coffee beans begin to lose their flavor once they’re ground. Then they’re packaged, shipped, and sit on a shelf until you buy them. After you bring them home, they sit in your pantry even longer.
That means that a significant amount of time has passed from when the beans were ground and when you use them, and the coffee taste will be much different.
Get a manual or electric grinder and grind your coffee beans fresh right before you brew.A roasted bean is only fresh for about two weeks, so make sure you buy your dark roast coffee in small batches for the best flavor in your coffee grounds.
Something that a lot of people don’t realize about coffee is that it comes in so many different flavor profiles. You’ll find coffee with flavor profiles of dark chocolate, nuts, lemon, strawberries, and more. Some roasters also have really creative flavored coffee, like cookies and cream, s’mores, and more.
Choose a flavor that you know you like and give it a try, or look for a sampler and try a handful of different types until you find a winner.
When drinking a strong coffee, you might be tempted to add sugar. Don’t.
Adding sugar takes away from the natural flavor of the brewed coffee, which means that you’re not really enjoying the coffee for what it is. Sugar generally overrides the subtle notes and flavors in the coffee.
If you need to dull the intensity a bit and work up to drinking purely black coffee, use a little bit of steamed milk or cream to dull the flavor at first. Add less and less every time until you’re used to drinking it black.
Light roast coffee is a little less bitter and more palatable than dark roast coffee, so they’re a good choice if you’re not used to black coffee. Light roasts are a little more acidic and tend to be brighter and more floral than rich and dense. Start with light and medium roasts and work to dark roasts as you get used to the taste.
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Here are some really nice medium and light roasts that you can try:
This light roast from La Guadalupe is a whole bean coffee with hints of caramel and honey. The creamy body is great for getting used to black coffee. It’s sourced from Honduras and is perfectly crafted for home brewing.
One of the great things about BLK & Bold is that they donate five percent of their profits to support at-risk youth, so you can feel good supporting their initiatives while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.
Breakfast blends are light roasts with a good amount of caffeine to help you start your day. This roast from Real Good Coffee is made from premium Arabica beans sourced from Central and South America and roasted in Seattle, Washington.
It has a smooth flavor with hints of citrus and notes of cream and chocolate. You can use this whole bean coffee with any kind of coffee brewer, just make sure you grind them to the right texture first.
Stone Street Coffee is a small artisanal roaster in Brooklyn, New York, and its Tanzania coffee is a great choice when you’re ready to move onto medium roasts.
It uses special peaberry coffee beans from Tanzania to deliver a bright, sweet, and complex flavor profile. Because it’s roasted in small batches, they have a lot of control over the flavor, which delivers hints of chocolate and an overall smoothness you’re going to love.
Another option if you’re ready for a medium roast is this breakfast blend from Verena Street. This is their signature blend and features low acidity and smooth taste, though it is a little strong. Verena Street is an independent family business. They use beans that are sustainably sourced from the Rainforest Alliance, and it’s freshly roasted and packaged in Dubuque, Iowa.
This medium roast from Mayorga uses a slow-roasting process to produce a bright, rich, earthy coffee with a vibrant finish. With notes of almond, toffee, and maple, this is a sweet and smooth way to transition from light to medium blends.
It’s 100 percent organic, and all of the beans are sourced from small farmers in Latin America. Every batch is hand-roasted with a focus on balance and developing a great tasting cup of coffee.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a coffee to drink black. For one, don’t buy the mass-produced coffee at the grocery store. Stick with small roasters that take the time to carefully build delicious flavor profiles.
Choose whole beans over pre-ground, and start with a light roast. They’re a little more palatable which makes it easy to give up your cream and sugar.
You’ll learn to love a cup of black coffee in no time!