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Dear Counter Culture Coffee…

I’m sorry to say this, but it’s just not working out. I love that you post our roast date on every bag of coffee you sell at my local gourmet food market. I think it’s great that you have certified organic coffee, and the descriptions sound wonderful. It’s even sort of cool that you really dig the hipster third wave coffee thing, and create distinctive roasts with complex flavor profiles. It’s not you, it’s me.

I just can’t get used to your style. it’s light and fruity, and I’m more into dark and chocolaty. I’ve tried to love your Mocha Java (which it appears you only offer through retailers and not on your own website) and I was delighted to find that the roast date was only 2 days old AND on sale at about 20% off. I just couldn’t resist getting a taste of that “fruit, milk chocloate, syrupy” flavor profile that you promised.

I opened the bag and drank in the sight and smells. It looked a little light for my taste, and my nose said “cotton candy” or maybe it was “turkish taffy”. It piqued my curiosity, to see what surprises laid inside.

So I did what I always do, and loaded just the right amount of beans at just the right grind into my Rancilio Rocky then extracted a perfect shot, and added my usual 6oz. of water to make my favorite Americano. The shot measured 9.7 brix, which is typical for me. Diluted, we were down to about 2.2 brix, which is how I like it— a bit stronger than SCAA recommendations.

They say you know the instant you kiss someone, whether they could be your mate for life, and I suppose the same is true with coffee. I was looking for a relationship, but what I tasted was not going to cut it, ever. Sour! All I could think about was the sensation one gets when trying a Lemonhead for the first time. Wow! I won’t do that again!

But I did. I tried to meet you on your terms. I dug out my paper filters and cone, cranked my burr grinder wide open, and tentatively slow-poured my way to a neutral meeting place. The pour came out light, at just .2 brix. I know I did something wrong, maybe I need to restrict the flow on my cone, but still, I gave it a shot. Even weak coffee, if it’s good coffee, is worth tasting.

Nope. Another miss. I definitely smelled bananas in there, and while I like bananas, I don’t like them in my coffee. The sour was mostly gone, but replaced by a tanginess that I find unpalatable. I guess I’m just not hipster enough for you. I don’t know what I’m going to do… Maybe you’d be okay as a cold brew? Maybe I messed up and our perfect match is somewhere in the .9 brix range? Maybe, but how about if we just be friends? Okay?

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