If you have been reading all of the posts in this series (see links above) then you know already that coffee shouldn’t taste the same when it’s grown in different areas – it is just not likely. Coffee from different locations will necessarily taste different because there are too many variables (such as soil, water, mulching, climate, and sun) for two crops from two different locations to ever taste the same. If you can taste any coffee and tell which of the national chain roasters has roasted and distributed it, then you taste a branded flavor that they have added – and not the pure coffee itself. Sorry, that’s just how it goes. People who drink their coffee black should be able to easily recognize the coffee that they are drinking as coming from this chain or that one. If you travel across the country and get a black coffee from your favorite brewer and it tastes like it did a thousand miles back home then you have to wonder – How is this possible? Well, the reality is that it is not likely – unless some sort of signature flavor has been added to the beans.
This then is the Giant Lie of Coffee: what you think is simply plain black coffee is often just the cheapest bean at the market flavored with the coffee roaster’s branded signature flavor. For a purist like me, this matters. Does this make me mad? No. Do I still get my coffee from my favorite chain while I am on the road? Yes. So why then do I bring it up? Because I want you to love your coffee for just the coffee itself, and this can be hard to do unless you get fresh-roasted, single-origin coffee with nothing added – not even raosting oils that accidently flavor the beans.
So the next time you have coffee (maybe even now as you read this), I invite you consider how pure and natural the coffee is that you are drinking. If it matters to you, then I invite you to join me, and together we can seek to experience the most perfect natural-tasting coffees from around the world.