Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Give me Coffee or Cut my Throat!

John Stossel has an interesting but irrelevant article on Town Hall called Coffee Talk. It's interesting, but irrelevant because it completely misrepresents the coffee industry, and the beverage itself. The truth is, most coffees are blended, and the blend (of primarily two varieties, Arrabica and Robusta) determines the flavor more than any other factor. There is some difference in taste, however, of pure, unblended coffees grown in specific areas. Jamacian Blue Mountain is considered the "champagne" of coffees, while Kona, Java, Sumatra, and West Indies blends are also highly prized. Yet it all comes down to individual taste. Much is made of "Columbian" coffee, but the same beans are also grown in Costa Rica, where they provide even better flavor. I've never knowingly had Kenyan or Ethiopian coffee.

Roasting varieties also play a great part in coffee taste, but virtually ignored by Stossel. Light roast is milder than medium roast, and dark roast is the strongest of all. Adding more coffee to the pot doesn't change the flavor as much as the proper roast.

Grind also plays a big factor in both strength and flavor. A fine grind allows more of the surface of the coffee granules to be exposed to water. The same flavor can be obtained quicker from a fine grind than from a coarse grind. Medium grind is what is found in most already-ground coffees.

Both my parents were heavy coffee-drinkers when I was a child, yet I never drank coffee until after I left home. Today, I drink about a half-pot a day - more than I should with my tinnitus problem, but since I'm limited to sugar-free drinks, not excessive. I've taste coffee from all over the world, and I can't say exactly which is the best. I like one brand over all others, because it's both a dark-roast, medium grind 70/30 mix of arrabica and robusta beans. Unfortunately, it's not available where I live. I try to make do with whatever I have at hand, and stock up when I find my favorite brand.


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