It seems like the “expert” consensus as to whether coffee consumption is good for you or not changes quite frequently.
The next week, scratch that, coffee can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The week after that, you can drink 25 cups and you’re fine! Can we just pause it on this one and ignore whatever comes next week? Please?
Is coffee a miracle that should be consumed religiously? Probably not. Is it a plague that should be condemned by all? I sure hope not.
The point that I am eventually intending to make, is that there are, and always will be conflicting opinions on the matter. The reality is that a huge portion of the world enjoys and/or requires coffee. It’s a daily ritual that makes early mornings more tolerable for some, a passion with nearly unlimited avenues to explore for others, and a …relatively harmless drug addiction for me.
There’s plenty to debate about the pros and cons of coffee consumption, but if your primary concern is your health, I think most people would have to agree that…
You should be drinking your coffee black.
Some people (myself included) wouldn’t dream of diluting our beloved beverage with anything, be it creamer (eww), milk, sugar or sweetener.
Others can’t stand the taste of black coffee and so they never really make an attempt to make the switch. But there is a fatal flaw in this approach. Coffee, like a number of other things, is an acquired taste for most people.
Did you fall in love with beer, wine or whatever your poison of choice is on the first sip? Probably not. You probably pretended not to hate it so that your cool friends who were pretending to have already acquired the taste didn’t make fun of you. What? That didn’t happen to you? Yeah, me neither.
What often gets overlooked here, is that you don’t need to make the switch overnight. There’s nothing wrong with slowly working your way from a double-double, (please don’t tell me you’re a triple-triple person) to black coffee. It’s really not that difficult if you take it slow.
Alright if you’re still with me, cheers, you made it through my rambling introduction! Now onto the useful stuff. Here are 5 tips to help you make the switch to drinking black coffee.
#1 Go Slow
It’s not a race, don’t feel the need to make the transition in a week. If you’re brewing your own coffee, it’s easy enough to decrease your additives by a little bit every day or two.
If you’re grabbing your coffee from wherever, ask for your additives on the side. Making this a habit will be very beneficial, as it makes it a lot easier to make small gradual decreases.
Did you notice how I keep referring to them as additives? Sounds unnatural, doesn’t it? It’s intentional. 🙂
#2 Experiment With Different Roasts
If you don’t like black coffee, it could be for a number of reasons. Maybe you don’t like the acidity that is typical of lighter roasts? Or the quote-unquote bitterness of darker roasts? Maybe you’ve been drinking the wrong roast all of these years!
Different roasts have different characteristics, and it is very possible that a particular roast will taste much better than another to you. Experiment a little with different roast levels and see what you think, you may be surprised!
#3 Make Your First Sip Black
If you’re preparing your coffee yourself at home or work, (or wherever), have a sip before you add anything to it. One sip of black coffee. You may not enjoy it, but come on, it’s one sip, you can do it!
After your 1 sip, add whatever you’re adding and enjoy it. Next time, maybe take a little bit bigger of a sip… maybe even 2 sips!
This will help you get used to the “bitterness” of black coffee, without making you suffer through the entire cup.
If you’re grabbing your morning brew from a coffee shop, ask them to pour a little bit of black coffee into your mouth straight from the – I’m joking, please don’t ever try something like this. I accept no responsibility for anything.
Again, it’s probably a good call to get your additives on the side in order to control exactly how much makes it into your cup. This strategy works well for this tip too, have your sip, and then make your additions.
#4 Pick Sweet Coffee Beans
All beans are not created equally. Numerous factors contribute to the taste profile of your coffee. I won’t subject you to the whole lecture, but suffice it to say that certain origins are known to produce coffee beans with a natural sweetness to them.
You’ll also want to grab something that is nice and smooth and doesn’t have an overpowering taste. I would recommend getting your hands on some Honduran coffee. Honduran beans are naturally sweet and typically include nutty, fruity and/or chocolate tastes.
You also can’t go wrong with Puerto Rican or Brazilian beans, both of which offer a caramel toned sweetness and are known for their smooth and balanced nature.
Mix it up a little! Find out what you like and what you don’t like, it will be worth it in the end!
#5 Drink Fresh Coffee
Honestly, if the coffee you’re drinking is old and stale or has been ground weeks ahead of time, it’s not going to matter where the beans are from.
If at all possible, get your coffee whole bean, and grind them up right before brewing! We’re starting to go down the coffee connoisseur rabbit hole here, but this is important stuff if you want your coffee to taste good.
Grinding coffee beans with a Burr Grinder makes all of the difference in the world. In a nutshell, a Burr grinder ensures that your grinds are uniform, which leads to the uniform extraction of soluble solids, which leads to a better taste! Regular old blade grinders literally just cut your beans up, which results in a disturbing lack of uniformity and a much less pleasant taste. I know this sounds super elitist, but this really does make a huge difference.
#6 Track Your Progress
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s strangely satisfying to record things and have the ability to look back and track your progress. It’s as simple as taking a note on your phone and recording your additives each day.
Day 1: 2 Milk, 2 Sugar
Day 2: 1.5 Milk, 1.5 Sugar
Day X: Tiny bit of milk, tiny bit of sugar
Day X + 1: NOTHING!
You get the picture. Not only does that tactic offer satisfaction, it’s also a good way to hold yourself accountable. How long does it take to type a couple of numbers into your phone – a few seconds? Make it a habit!
Still here? Great! If you’ve read all of this, you have no excuse not to attempt to make the switch! If not for your health, do it so that you can look down on people that don’t take their coffee black. Good luck my friend!