I completed the Coffeeneuring Challenge in December.
I used the experience to learn about single origin coffees, and local roasters on my regular cycling routes. A coffee stop is an integral part of my rides, particularly the longer ones this time of year, but I found I was always stopping at familiar cafes, never experimenting with different roasts, coffee origins, or brewing methods. This was my opportunity to try something new.
I had become accustomed to dark roast coffees prepared using the drip method. For years, I purchased dark roasted beans, ground them myself, and prepared a single cup at a time. I thought this was the ideal brewing method, and coffee roast. Boy, was I wrong. I don’t understand why I was so narrow minded and stubborn. Clearly, I had a lot to learn.
This is what I have learned over the past 2 months –
- There are several quality small-batch roasters in my neighbourhood, all of which are on my cycling routes.
- Single origin coffees have distinctive flavours much the same way as wine. The beans take on the flavours of their environments.
- I prefer the French Press brewing method. It may take a little longer, but the coffee is more flavourful.
- Single origin beans are never subjected to a longer, dark roast because the additional heat could burn the bean. They generally have a mild or medium roast.
- Ironically, my favourite beans are from JJ Bean, a local roaster I have been frequenting for several years now. They have a cafe several blocks from my home, and for the past 3 years since it opened, I stop there after my rides. There is a place to safely lean my bike in the window out of site. A must. And, they offer a selection of vegan/vegetarian wraps that I like, in addition to either drip or French Press coffee.
My coffee preferences have changed. The origin. The roast. And, the brewing method. Who would have thought that at this stage of life I would make a change like this. Then again, I have made several other dietary changes this past year. I subscribe to a daily intermittent fasting regimen. I eat porridge with a banana and berries every day. I am, for the most part, vegan (only occasionally eating cheese or eggs). And, I am careful to consume more protein than in previous years. So, why wouldn’t I change my coffee habits?
This have been an interesting, and rewarding experience. One, in fact, that I plan continue. I have learned of other local roasters on my cycling routes that I intend to visit in the coming months.
So, don’t be surprised to see additional coffee posts.