In which I’ve reduced my refined sugar intake and started drinking fresher coffee.

Nine Days Later

1547 words about life — 12:12 · 15th May 2011

Long text broken up with a few pictures, but totally well worth the read. I’m not kidding, go make yourself a cup of coffee, you’re going to be here for a while.

It’s now been nine days (at least I think so) since I purchased a

Bodum Bistro Nouveau coffee maker.. can I actually call it a coffee maker since I do most of the work myself? For the sake of argument I am going to call it a coffee maker, if it’s good enough for the manufacturer to call it that.. then it’s good enough for me.

Brown paper bags of fresh coffee grounds, such as Barahona and Sulawesi.
So fresh and so.. clean?

So how’s it been? Well, let’s put it this way. I won’t be able to drink ape urine excuses for coffee any more. That’s how it’s been going. Nah, but really, it’s nothing if not an eye opening experience so far. I could have never imagined coffee being able to actually taste this good, with subtleties from all sorts of things. I now have an entirely new vocabulary including words like acidity, bitterness, nutty scent with a hint of chocolate. Obviously it has it’s downsides too, since now whenever I meet a shitty cup of coffee, I simply can’t drink it any more. Bare in mind now that, as anyone who knows me knows, I used to drink my coffee with milk and sugar. Lots of fuckin’ sugar. At least when comparing myself to friends and acquaintances.

Now, I drink my coffee black.. like a real man!

But not be manlier actually, but because it tasted ruined with milk and/or sugar. Of course I had to try several different variations. But in the end, black won. And hurray for it too, although I have had to suffer the consequences of a decreased sugar intake, which has been a total bitch, thankfully though, the worst of that has passed. Now I am beginning to feel actually a lot better than I did before.

A word of warning though to anyone who “suddenly” decides to cut down of refined sugar. Before this and ridding my addiction of Coca-Cola I was averaging a daily sugar intake of 120 grams and sometimes upwards. The recommended daily intake is between 36-40 grams (depending on your source). So easily three times the daily recommended amount of refined sugar per day.

Yeah, I did the calculations minutes ago. Scary stuff isn’t it? I specified “refined” sugar because that’s the amount I could easily calculate, I obviously get natural sugar as well and hidden refined sugar in me, but those probably fulfil my daily needs nicely. So the probability is quite high that I have had a intake of 4x daily recommended. That’s probably not very healthy or what do you think?

So the warning; If you’re going to cut down your sugar be prepared for a shock as your brain pretty much just shuts down and refuses to work in any way before it’s gotten it’s “hit”. It’ll pass after a week or so, at least it did for me, but until then it’s a bitch. I have semi-honestly never felt so out of energy and “sick”.

Anyway… back to the coffee talking. Come visit me, I’ll make the awesome-est cup you have ever had, hopefully. I’m still in the learning stage, I for instance need to get a burr grinder too.. gotta grind my own beans now, otherwise the stale bitterness from not so fresh coffee is too noticeable, damn it. So Zassenhaus Brasilia 151 here I come! Unless someone has a better suggestion for a manual burr grinder? Haven’t quite decided which blend I like more yet.. I would want to find Sumatra but alas I have no idea where to look for that in Vaasa and Saluhallen hadn’t heard of that blend.

I’m testing different brewing techniques, different brewing times, trying it with and without “break & clean”. I suspect my beans are a bit too finely ground by the way, no fault of Saluhallen though as they ground them according to my wishes. Awesome service, kudos to them! I have tested with different kinds of water as well, speaking of which… how does one do a double-blind study with only one test-subject? Because I tried to (and succeeded) in doing a “sort of” double-blind study to see if I could tell the difference between Spring water, tap water and filtered tap water. The double-blind part being that neither my wife (the reasearcher) or me (the test-subject) knew which water contained which. For the sake of consistency all liquids were cooled to the same temperate so as to not influence the test-results. So, what about the results? What did they show me?

An early prootype of Island of Eternity being played.
The double-blind study revealed it all.

I failed miserably. I wasn’t able to tell the difference in any sort of way. The biggest goal of this test was to see if I was able to discern the difference between tap water or Spring water, because according to some coffee enthusiasts, there’s a difference. Clearly according to my small study I could just as well be drinking urine.. or.. well maybe not urine, but at least it shows that I can in good conscience use tap water for my coffee making needs. If I can collect more participants I will try to arrange another double-blind study later on.

Edit; The Spring water was of a Finnish label called Polar Spring. Should I have used a different brand? Maybe that isn’t a good one? Vaasa’s tap water has a pH value of 6.5 on average, I checked. The filtered water, was just tap water filtered through the coffee filters I have for my drip machine, Rainbow unbleached to be specific.

I’ve had people over, so they could try out my coffee as well. One friend said it was incomparable to any kind of coffee he had had recently. In a good way though, saying it had a very Starbucks quality to it, which I’m assuming is a good thing.

Two friends (who hasn’t tried press coffee yet though) tried just drinking drip coffee with a better blend (Arvid Nordquist: Classic French Roast Extra Dark) and they commented that it’s difficult to go back to crap coffee after it.. One friend said it was better but couldn’t really tell much more. She’s not a very accustomed coffee drinker though so that’s okay. Still waiting for Beije (and possibly his mom..?) to come for a visit though. His (their) opinions regarding coffee is something I value, since they’re huge coffee drinkers.

All in all, it’s been and still is an eye-opening experience. Some three weeks ago I had never reflected on coffee being anything else than bitter shitwater with milk and sugar that I drank to fulfil my daily requirement of caffeine. Then a couple of weeks ago I had started thinking about how our tap water tasted differently (bad differently) and how my coffee tasted worse than it used too.

Coincidently, around this time my brother was out to buy an electric kettle for his apartment, randomly I asked why he didn’t buy a combo machine, a.k.a. drip machine and electric kettle.. kind of like the Princess Diarrhoea Machine I have. Then the salesman (thank you Gigantti) swept my brother to a 150€ espresso what-not machine and started talking about coffee and such for probably 30 minutes. In the end, my brother bought the machine and I started thinking about buying one too. That and many evenings after I searched on Google. A lot. Deciding that if my brother can have better coffee then so can I. And the rest is well.. not so much history as it’s.. well.. the present.

Now, I sit and enjoy my black coffee wondering if I can find a blend that has more nuttyness but less acidity. Maybe an ever so slightly stronger hint of chocolate with a little berry. I’m also so totally making another mornin’ cup to take with me to work tomorrow. I will mix “Conquista Blend-Sulawesi-Barahona” together, let it steep over night (cold brew style), add a little milk and vanilla ice cream in the morning before I go to work. I had it last Friday, and it was the most beautiful way of waking up.. ever. Since I don’t know if there’s a name for what I had, I’m so totally naming it right now.. “Nothing gets one going in the morning, like a Manhattan Blow Job.. in your mouth”.

Tell all your friends.

A collage of my life as of recently: Iced coffee, Afternoon coffee and cigarette and sitting on the balcony.

You’ve just read Nine Days Later.

In which, 13 years ago, I wrote 1547 words about life and I covered topics, such as: coffee , and for science! .