Drinking Black Coffee As A Beginner

BY BORIS POVOLOTSKY - 28 Jul 2023

How To Drink Black Coffee As Novice Coffee Drinker

Where I come from, Israel, black coffee means unfiltered brown ground coffee, in other words instant coffee. All you need is 1-2 spoons of ground coffee in a small cup, hot water poured-over, and sugar if you like. Sugar is recommended to be added lastly. The upgraded version includes preparing the coffee in what we call a Finjan(Cezve originally) and a camping gas stove. The Israeli black coffee has become a cultural property. So when you ask for a black coffee, this is what you get, not an Americano, Espresso or a filter-coffee.

Our black coffee doesn’t taste like flowers, fruits, or other complex notes you get with light-roasted Arabica beans brewed as Espresso or pour-over coffee. Some locals call it “Mud”, no joke.

All that context to say it took me a while to get used to the harshness and bitterness of coffee. All coffee takes time to get used to.

Time

When we are born, we are naturally drawn to sweet tastes and develop the rest of our test buds as we grow. Coffee is an acquired taste, that takes some time to get used to its bitter and strong taste. I cannot say how long it’ll take you to acquire the taste of black coffee, if you’re used to coffee with cream or milk, it might be faster than if you’ve never tried any coffee before.

Regulate Bitterness

Feel free to add sugar, or top your coffee with milk or cream. How much sugar? 1-2 spoons, just don’t consume too much sugar. Gradually, decrease the amount of sugar, milk or cream. If you’re drinking milk-based drinks, you can try machiatto or cortado that contain smaller amounts of milk as starers.

Darker roasts tend to be more bitter and strong. You can get a lighter-roast to even this out. Generally, try different kinds of coffee available to you and see what suits you best. You can put more or less amount of coffee and add more or less water to control bitterness and harshness.

Kinds of black coffee

I think it’s safe to assume that black coffee is coffee made without milk. So, we’re talking about Americanos, Espressos, Longs, Ristrettos, Filter, etc. That being said, they all differ significantly in their structure, method of preparation, and ultimately in taste. Personally, I like espressos and something between an Americano and a long espresso. That is, espresso diluted with water but not too much water, right?

Before I bought mine Profitec 800 I used to drink filter Hario V60 and I enjoyed it a lot. I used to consume lighter-roasts and enjoy the fruity schmuity flavor profile which, with my Profitec 800, isn’t as joyful. Made as espresso, I enjoy flavors with more of a traditional profile, less acidic, more bitter with nutty, caramel flavors over fruits and pleasant acidity. Coffee made with Cezve tastes different, too.

You must experiment. Go on coffee tours, go to coffee events and forum meet-ups, make friends who’re into coffee and try different things. That way, you’ll get to enjoy and explore coffee made by people who are more experienced than you are in a certain method. If you’re into espressos, it’ll take time until you produce a god-like shot, and until then, you may mistakenly make an assumption that you’re not into espressos.

When at work, I mostly consume Israeli “mud”, which is just instant ground coffee prepared without milk. Ideally, we use a cezve on a gas stove to brew it, in other conditions we just use boiling water from a kettle.

Wrapping Up

Drinking black coffee has a whole history behind it in almost any culture. Its harsh and bold taste resembles closely and more purely the real taste of coffee. Personally, I tend to associate, perhaps falsely, the effect of waking up and “zoning in” with black coffee more than I do with a Cappuccino, for instance. It could be true because milk probably does change something in the chemical structure of the beverage and its effect on our organism, but this is way out of my scope so forgive me if I’m completely off saying that.

If you’re into black coffee, hurray! If you’re not into it, no worries, it’s absolutely okay and you can still enjoy and be enthusiastic about coffee without being a black coffee fan. However, if you’re interested in acquiring that taste, remember to be patient, don’t force it too quickly. You can use sugar and gradually lower the amount you add to it until you’re pretty much used to the bitterness and can genuinely enjoy a cup of coffee.


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