How to Make the Switch to Black Coffee

How to Make the Switch to Black Coffee

If you’ve read a few posts on this blog, then you’ll know that I like my coffee black. Plain and simple, no creamers or sugar. Black. Regular. Coffee.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to drink your coffee black (it’s good to have aspirations) but don’t know quite where to start. In the days before specialty coffee, black coffee wasn't all that spectacular. A cup of Folgers… Click To Tweet Habits are hard to break.

But whenever you visit a local coffee shop, there’s something romantic about how a pour over is made. The attention to detail. The careful pouring. Instinctively, it feels wrong to take a work of art and add cream and sugar to it. While not the unpardonable sin, it might be close.

So, how do you make the jump to drinking straight, black coffee? Let me offer a few suggestions that should help you get started. And once you go black …

  1. Sample different coffees and blends. Because of the growth of local roasters and direct trade, we have access to the coffees of the world. Just like wine, each area has its own nuances and characteristics. Also like wine, you’ll begin to notice these nuances and characteristics. You’ll wonder why you were hiding these nuances under a gallon of cream and sugar. I guarantee that you’ll have fun!
  2. Try a lighter roast. One common criticism of black coffee is that it tastes bitter — and that’s because it often does. The bitterness is often a reflection of the roast style. Generally speaking, the darker the roast, the more bitter the coffee becomes. With the exception of bacon, most things don’t taste all that great when burned. The same is true for coffee. Personally, I’ve found that African coffees lightly roasted are my favorite. The fruitiness pops and the cup is clean.
  3. Start small and work your way up. Coffee is inventory and no one wants to waste inventory! There’s no need to jump right into a Venti or Big Gulp. As you build up your appreciation of black coffee, you’ll naturally want more.
  4. Let it rest. It seems counterintuitive. After all, didn’t God make coffee to be enjoyed hot and black? Well, yes. But letting your coffee cool will also bring more of the flavors. Or, perhaps it’s that your taste buds aren’t scalded and can work properly. Either way, it’s not a bad thing to let your coffee cool off a bit.

Personally, when it comes to coffee, I believe you’ll never regret switching to black coffee.