Black coffee: a veritable classic. – Nangoo Coffee

Black coffee: a veritable classic.

There are scads of arguments in favour of black coffee: the health benefits of cutting the dairy or sugar; simplicity; a desire to learn more about the flavour nuances of coffee. But, even before homogenised coffee-house cups became an Instagram-worthy accessory, the sugary frappuccinos and syrupy flavoured lattes cornered the market at indoctrinating the young and old alike into the domain of coffee. If you learned to love “coffee drinks”, I reckon it can be a tough transition away from added-flavour coffee beverages.

As a young’un, my personal version of coffee was as far away from coffee as it can get. However, something changed as I grew older. It could have been any one of a dozen reasons. I found black coffee more compatible with my system. My tastebuds evolved and my preference tended towards the less sweet. I began to prefer my red wines oakier; my beer hoppier; my chocolate darker. A few years later, when I became involved at Nangoo Coffee, it was officially game over for sweetener. All of a sudden, we had some of the best estates in the country delivering us their beans, and the true realm of coffee opened itself up to me.

  • I learned that freshness makes a huge difference (I’m convinced I had never had fresh coffee like this before).

  • I learned that coffee doesn’t need flavouring to taste like nuts, or chocolate, or strawberries. In fact, pick a flavour, any flavour, that you love. Chances are, you’ll find those notes in some coffee somewhere. Black coffee. No flavourings. It’ll blow your mind.

  • I learned that coffee has more flavonoids than wine so, all those bizarre far-flung tasting notes that are listed on coffee bags? They start to make sense.

  • I learned that cream and sugar are often used to disguise the taste of old, cheap, poorly-roasted, or flavourless beans; conversely, I learned that some fresh coffee is enhanced by a splash of cream, because the oils in coffee bond with the oils in the dairy. That said, sugar rarely augments fresh coffee, so the cream is better than sugar.

  • When you drink coffee black, you really begin to appreciate espresso. There’s just nothing like a beautiful shot of espresso to exhibit a roaster’s taste, talent, and dedication to the craft. For lots of reasons, getting espresso right is much more difficult than getting a tasty cup of drip. A well-balanced, naked espresso shot with a thick layer of crema over top is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

  • I learned that I have a real love for coffee, especially when something new comes into the Roastery.

My point being that sure, you might want to drink your coffee black to cut back on your caloric intake; or because your tastes are evolving; or because you work the night shift and only have access to drip; or you want to save money by making coffee at home instead of buying lattes; because you’re curious; or maybe you want to seem more cultivated, for the lack of a better word, when your mates offer you coffee after dinner parties. But I warn you: beginning to drink your coffee black may just inspire a passion for coffee you never knew you had.