Note: this post is accompanied by a coffee list: bottomless.com/list/michael
My dad used to drink a cup of black coffee every morning while reading the newspaper. Once I was old enough to sit at the table, I’d join and drink chocolate milk while reading the cartoon section. As I got older the business section replaced the cartoons and coffee replaced the chocolate milk.
Unlike most new coffee drinkers, I skipped straight to black coffee. As a teenage boy, I felt milk and sugar were a sign of weakness and weakness seemed worse than the syrup at the bottom of my dad’s Mr. Coffee pot. At first, I hated the taste, but I quickly acclimated to it. Eventually, I loved it.
By college, coffee was a daily necessity. Since money was in short supply, I’d buy my coffee from the bulk chutes at the discount grocery store for $4.99 per pound. My equipment was a second hand spice grinder and $20 drip machine. I usually over-slept, so most mornings I had no time to read. My routine was to gulp down my still-too-hot coffee in between huge bites of toast with peanut butter. It wasn’t a bad combination.
After college, I was able to rekindle my morning reading habit. A smartphone replaced the paper and mid-shelf beans replaced the bulk chute coffee. At my first tech job I discovered freshly roasted coffee. It was delivered straight from the roaster to the office. Wow, the fresh stuff was so much better than what I was drinking at home.
I soon was exclusively buying freshly roasted beans. My kitchen sprouted coffee making equipment. The spice grinder was replaced by one made just for coffee. The drip machine was replaced by an ever growing collection of contraptions. First, an Aeropress, then a Chemex, then a Kalita Wave.
I think I’ve gotten lazier with age. Now, the reading habit has morphed into a Twitter obsession. The manual brewing methods have been replaced by a super-automatic espresso machine that we bought from one of our early customers. (Shout out the Espresso Repair Experts in south Seattle, Bottomless customer for over 2 years).
The coffees on my list are ones that my college self would have enjoyed out of a spice grinder and a $20 drip machine. They are also coffees that I’d love to drink today out of a pour over or an espresso machine. They wouldn’t make my current self scoff nor my college self faint at the price. Ideally, they should be paired with the morning reading or feed of your choice.
To check out my list: bottomless.com/list/michael