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What is your favourite coffee?

Posted by Robert Booth on August 23, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Although there are plenty of people who can drink the standard "white with two sugars” coffee style, most people will, if given the chance, tailor their coffee to their own preferences.

There are scores of people who do not like an espresso based coffee style, as they find it too strong, the flavours too much “in your face”.

Similarly, there are whole countries where the gentle drip of a “slow " coffee style has never been seen, nor drunk.

Drinking any coffee style at any time of the day has nowadays become much more accepted than 10 or 20 years ago, particularly in Central and Southern Europe.

In France, for instance, Café au Lait (Caffe Latte) was generally only consumed at breakfast time, and was seen more as a food, for dunking pieces of brioche or bread in it.

And in Italy, having a cappuccino at any other time than at breakfast was seen as improper; espresso was served as day-time coffee, as well as after dinner (with or without a shot of alcohol).

Now, thanks to the influence of international travellers and TV, cappuccinos are served mid-afternoon or after dinner; Café au Lait relaxes people before bed or stimulates a lunch-time business meeting in a café and espresso is readily available at every upmarket hotel’s breakfast buffet.

Coffee has become a drink for everyone, at every occasion, at any time, and in any style.

When trying to find your favourite coffee style, look at

What is it that YOU want to get out of your coffee?

  • • Flavour nuances?
  • • Sweetness?
  • • Warmth?
  • • Caffeine?
  • • Comfort?
  • • Social lubrication?
  • • A quiet few minutes?
  • • An ice-breaker?
  • • Or a cup of sensory enjoyment?

Each coffee style has different things to offer, different flavours, aroma, mouthfeel, lingering taste, even different temperatures.

One of my greatest pleasures is finding a lovely coffeebean or a particular roast and making all sorts of different coffee styles with it.

The changes in flavour and aroma, character and complexity in such a style “line up” are amazing; for instance, a coffee which is full-bodied and lingering as espresso might not cut it through the milk, yet becomes almost wine-like when served cold.

So, once you have found a favourite café serving your favourite bean, or you have found a great roasted bean for your own machine, experiment with your coffee.

Try a style you normally don’t drink, and see if you can pick how the different preparation changes the flavour, the character of the coffee.

There are heaps of styles to choose from, so, have some fun!



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