I don’t tolerate more acidic coffee very well either. It wasn’t until the last month (well, 5 weeks now), that I realized that coffee isn’t all like that!
A lot of the medium and light(er) roasts I’ve tried in the last few weeks have been a lot closer to a rich/dark tea, with sweetness and fruit and berry flavors than what I’d had always assumed was the more typical “coffee” flavor.
And while I’d read, here and there, over the years, about how much freshness matters with coffee … tasting the difference first hand really brought home that the difference is truly enormous. Especially close to the roasting date.
As I’ve been looking at coffee and coffee gear reviews though, it’s clear there’s a lot of similar nonsense going on as there is in the audio world. “Oh, yes, DELICIOUS!” the reviewer will exclaim, without actually having told you what coffee they are brewing with the new, shiny, gadget(s) or techniques.
I got two coffees in this week … both of which were very well “reviewed”. Both were praised to the rafters …
One was absolutely delicious, with amazing complexity, sweetness, a lot of fruit, a hint of chocolate/cocoa and no bitterness at all (unless I fiddled with the extraction level to force some, mostly via grinding finer). Pretty much exactly what every review said it would be.
The other … nothing I could do, no matter how I changed the temperature, grind size, brewing method (pour over, immersion, hybrid, drip) or recipe got more than trivial variation in a flavor all of which was down to how strong the sense of cocoa in the finish was. Couldn’t get any of the sweetness or honey flavors that were praised.
Could be my brewing technique, but I modified all the variables, one at a time, over the entire bag, and it was just … well … not much different to any regulars pre-ground store bought stuff.
And … this was the one bag I have that doesn’t show a roasting date (or even a best-before date). So I have to assume it is just older.