Serious Coffee


Why We're Paying More for Coffee

Nobody wants to be told that they have (or should, or need to) pay more for something. Especially when that something happens to be what gets them going every morning and sustains life after boring midafternoon meetings. But it's true, friends: The coffee market is changing, and we have to change with it. Here's why those precious beans will soon cost us all a bit more bread. More

Why Coffee Dates Make Great First Dates

"Do you want to get a coffee sometime?" It's the classic first-date proposal: Even baristas are susceptible to it. (My first-ever date was at a coffee shop—the one I worked at, as a matter of fact. Awkward!) This V-Day, let's talk about what makes that first caffeinated romantic encounter so perfect. More

In Defense of Decaf

Decaf drinkers have it rough. Not only are they always the butt of (never very funny) jokes and the constant recipients of barista skunk eye, but they're also often reduced to settling for the dregs in their cups. This is an outrage—and it doesn't have to be like this! I'm here to stand up in defense of decaf and its devotees: You're tired as hell, and you don't have to take it anymore. More

Coffee Processing: How Do You Get from Cherry to Bean?

What makes coffee taste like coffee? That's a more complicated question than you might think. At every step of a coffee bean's life, something intervenes that could drastically alter its flavor: Plant variety, agricultural approach, terroir, processing, roasting, storage, and, of course, brewing all play a huge part in how your morning cup tastes. Today, let's explore one of these influences: processing. More

Is Chicory Coffee Any Good? Or Just a Way to Stretch Coffee?

The term "chicory coffee" conjures romantic images of leisurely breakfasts in New Orleans, munching beignets and sipping from a steaming mug while the lazy strains of jazzy trumpets float through the air. But what the heck is it, and is it actually good, or just a French Quarter daydream? Let's get down to the root of the root that makes this chicory coffee thing. More

Pumpkin-Spice Latte Roundup: Whole Foods vs. Dunkin' Donuts vs. Starbucks

When approaching this Great Pumpkin Latte Tasting between Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks, we had to ask ourselves, what's more important: pumpkin flavor, or pumpkin spice flavor? It might not seem like it's asking too much for a drink with both "pumpkin" and "spice" in the name to taste like, well, both. But after tasting these three versions, it does seem too much to ask, which is really a crying shame. More

Taste Test: To Freeze or Not to Freeze Coffee Beans, v2.0

A few weeks back, I unintentionally breached the Serious Eats code of taste-testing with my post about whether or not to freeze coffee beans. In retrospect I realized I didn't test a broad enough series of variables to really get down to the nitty-gritty facts. So with the help of Kenji I concocted a new series of samples (eight in total) and hosted a blind tasting at Serious Eats Headquarters in an attempt to finally get to the bottom of the beans. More

How to Have Good Coffee While Traveling

Midsized American cities, campgrounds, your Sanka-loving grandparents' house—a lot of places are inhospitable to the discerning coffee lover. What to do when you're miles away from the great coffee you know and love? Here are some tips: like what to BYO, and what coffee nerds to tweet at for tips. More

Coffee Bean Review: George Howell's Terroir and Barismo in Massachusetts

Finding a fantastic local roaster can be a tough chore in the sea of specialty and non-specialty grade coffee roasters out there. But if you live in or around Boston you're in luck: The coffee community has been growing rapidly and two local roasters in particular seem to be spearheading the movement. Like-minded yet extremely different in selections, George Howell's Terroir in Acton and Barismo out of Arlington offer intelligent and thoughtful coffees in the Northeast US. More

Caffeinated Complaint: Why Is Restaurant Coffee So Bad?

I'm just going to come out and ask a burning (read: possibly inflammatory) question: Why is restaurant coffee generally so terrible? Seriously, why is it that you can drop a C-note on a beautifully crafted dinner paired with wines recommended by a gifted sommelier, but when the (impressive! delicious!) desserts are presented at the end of the meal they're inevitably accompanied by brown slop that tastes like it was filtered through a gym sock and subsequently microwaved? More importantly, can anything be done about it? More

Translating Coffee Menus: Different Names for 'Coffee Plus Milk'

While apparently the whole "Inuits have a zillion different words for 'snow'" is a myth, it does seem that the average coffee shop uses a zillion different words to mean "coffee plus milk." You've got your café latte (Italian), café au lait (French), café con leche (Spanish), and even your flat white (the Down Under version, mates). So what's the deal? Put away your coffee-to-English dictionary and let us decipher the international language of caffeinated deliciousness for you. [Photograph:: journeyscoffee on Flickr] More

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