"A normal coffee please!"
A normal coffee please!'' . We tend to limit coffee to two types: normal or espresso. But it's much more colorful than that and that's the beauty of coffee! It's a vast array of origins, cultures and flavors when you start to look at it in more detail. Notwithstanding its roast, the same coffee will taste completely different depending on its grind and the type of infusion used. Moreover, culturally, its preparation and consumption differ from one country to another. For example, in the Nordic countries, its consumption is abundant and necessary to face the cold. But elsewhere, as in Italy, it is quick and brief to start the day, and in hot countries such as the Middle East, it is a drink that is consumed slowly and where you can read your destiny through the coffee grounds spilled.
In 2019, back from two consecutive trips to Japan during which we had the pleasure to visit several coffee establishments. Yes yes, coffee! Even though they are more often associated with sencha tea than Arabica coffee, the Japanese have a very nice coffee culture that has grown a lot in the last few years. The number of establishments and the quality of the products offered is unmatched anywhere else in the world. For these meticulous people, manual infusions, "drip coffee", are the norm. They are even at the origin of the creation of the infuser par excellence for this type: the Hario V60 created in 1921.
Infusion Hario V60 of Gashora Rwanda in Tokyo
Less common in Canada, manual brewers maximize coffee extraction and control the entire brewing process for each cup by brewing the right grind, the amount of coffee, water and brewing time. The ritual is longer and slightly more complex than brewing a simple thermos filter, the beverage served is then maximized to allow your palate to enjoy all the flavors and aromas. Although the most important thing is to enjoy coffee the way you like it, most coffee geeks agree that this is the way to extract the perfect cup.
There is a common misconception that espresso is better than filter coffee because of the cost per cup in the coffee shop and the appliances that go with it. Yet in Europe, espresso is as inexpensive as a filter coffee here. User-friendliness and speed of brewing led the Italians to invent espresso machines in 1884, not their desire to make a perfect cup. Moreover, with this kind of machine, the strong tendency is to make drinks with milk. So in the end, the coffee often makes up a third of the volume of the beverage to reduce the bitterness.
You have to take your time and take care of each step to get an exceptional cup of coffee, and the Japanese have understood this. So, for about 500 yen ( 6.24 $CAD), you can have a freshly ground coffee brewed from a filter holder in most of the big areas of the Japanese metropolis, and the establishments are crowded! There is a reason why Starbucks chose Tokyo to open its 5th and largest Starbucks Reserve Rostery. It is common to wait more than 30 minutes just to enter this imposing five-story building because of its popularity. There are Italian espresso machines, but it is the syphon and drip infusions that are the most popular.
The drip line at Blue Bottle Coffee in Kobe
We invite you to push your curiosity to know more about the different ways to enjoy this wonderful black nectar. For a few dozen dollars, it is possible to equip yourself with a Hario V60, a Chemex or an Aeropress, and thus discover your favorite coffee under new horizons.
Enjoy your coffee!