How My Little Sister Destroyed Me In A Taste Test
This week I decided to try an omni roast bean from El Salvador. I'm still not too keen on hot coffees and, since I found out about cold brewed coffees, I knew I had to figure out how to do a good cold brewed coffee from home.
I messed around with the concept a couple times (the story about how many mistakes I made there is probably worth its own post, so I won't go into it here) but eventually I kind of figured out how I could do it with the things I had laying around at my parents' house in RAK while waiting for the lockdown to end. Now, this whole time, my younger sister (11 years younger than me btw) had been watching me try and work out what I was doing. She's always loved coffee for the actual coffee taste - no muss, no fuss. She's the kind of girl who likes to put 4 extra shots of espresso in her frappe to feel alive so, naturally, once I was able to brew something halfway decent, I wanted to share the experience with her.
The beans I bought were meant to have the taste of dried fruit, caramel and red fruit but I couldn't taste it in the brews I'd made up to this point. Here's where my ego and hubris get the best of me. I knew what the beans were meant to taste like and, in my research leading up to home-brew tests, I'd learnt about how the origin, growth altitude and roast of a bean would impact the flavour and that certain countries are famous for particular flavour groups and aromas. I spent several long minutes explaining this to my sister as I poured a cup of coffee that I'd been cold brewing for about 2 days days, pausing to inhale deeply from the cup and and sigh contentedly. It was now that I leaned back against the kitchen counter and took a slurp (not a sip, a SLURP) and acted like I was trying to diffuse the flavours in my mouth like some people do with tea.
The honest truth was, the coffee in my hands tasted amazing but I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why. It was kind of sweet and aromatic and, oh boy, did it hit the spot. But I couldn't taste what I was told I was meant to be tasting. Not that I was going to admit that to my sister so, instead, I raised an eyebrow and handed the cup over to her.
"Let's see if you can figure this out."
What I haven't told you is that, since she was about 4, my sister has had an extremely well-developed palate. So she took a sip. Hummed a little and then took another sip before hesitantly saying;
"Brown sugar and fruit?"
My mouth literally fell open as this teenager pulled off something in 15 seconds that I couldn't in the last few weeks.
I guess the point I'm making is that loving coffee doesn't mean that we have to be coffee experts from the start. It takes time to develop your palate and start smelling and tasting what the roasters say you should. There's no need to pretend to know when you don't because you'll get there with time and so will I.
That's all for now (image of the brew below).