Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coffee and opulence, a lifelong persuit of the finer things in life

Since this is my first post regarding coffee I should explain 3 things, things not directly related to coffee but which apply to coffee in regards to to my world view.

1. When purchasing anything, what you get correlates directly to what you pay for it.
There is a reason why a  Maybach 62S cost approximately half a million dollars,  it comes with a rear refrigerator, sterling silver champagne flutes, and leather made out of endangered bottle-nosed dolphins. Your Maybach purchase takes place at a studio and you deal exclusively with a relationship manager who attends to your every whim and need, extravagant. A Maybach (the ultra luxury division of Mercedes Benz) is arguably the best automobile in the world, and since it costs  more than my house, I will never own one.

2. Buying anything directly from the person that produces it will increase your enjoyment of it.
I have never met a Guatemalan coffee wrangler (or whatever they call themselves) but the roaster that I purchase my beans from has. If I had the chance to go to the third world country my coffee comes from, only to awkwardly stumble my way through the language barrier, I'm sure I would think it was terrible. That "Fair Trade" logo doesn't imply that the sweaty guy toiling away in the coffee plantation has dental and missing front teeth is one of my hot buttons. Since I plan to NEVER meet a coffee grower in person, I enjoy talking incessantly about how my coffee is locally roasted and "single origin" I may even talk about how "citrusy" and "lush" their Rwandan is. A fun way to feel instantly superior to a hipster is to refer to your coffee as "Glocal" they will feel immediately inferior and ashamed that they didn't use that made up word first.

3. Little luxuries are still luxurious.
I cannot afford a car with a Champagne chiller in between the rear reclining seats or even a Pinarello Dogma 2 with a full Super Record EPS parts group, shamefully my TV is only 720p and I always fly coach. I am unable to afford the most expensive of the the expensive things but, I love to buy the most expensive of the cheap things, I'll explain with a few comparisons below.

Regular Flat screen TV $400 - Most Expensive flat screen TV at Best Buy $4,200
Regular Bottle of wine $21 -expensive bottle of wine $14,395
Regular cup of Coffee $2.00 - Most expensive cup of Coffee I've ever seen on a menu $16.00

You're telling me it will cost three and a half televisions just to get drunk? Fuck you. 
The cost for the most expensive coffee in the world is still less than lunch at Citizens Bank Park (that hot dog probably fell on the floor, yum).
I am more than happy to pay waaaaay too much money for coffee that was eaten, digested, and literally shit out of a Asain Palm Civet  because it is considered to be the best in the world.

Kopi Luwak shown here post shit, and pre-beverage

With that out of the way, here is my review of The Gryphon Cafe's dark roasted Timor.

The Gryphon Cafe in Wayne is my local coffee establishment, I usually only go there 11 times a week so I may not know about all of their roasts.  What I do know is, that about 2 years ago Rich (owner/roaster/ponytail aficionado) poured me a cup of coffee so good I nearly dropped to the floor and wept; this was the dark Timor.

A bad dark roast will be bitter and taste a bit like burnt popcorn, essentially what you are tasting is  charcoal. A bad dark roast is typically accompanied with lots of sugar and milk also called "Caramel Macchiato".  Dark roast coffee is pervasive in America, because the larger roasters use the extra roasting to cover up the mediocre flavor of cheap beans, "it all tastes burnt, great, now ship it off to Starbucks". When you tell most coffee snobs that you like dark roast coffee they will assume that you are an asshole, or can't afford wi-fi at home; so I admit to liking dark roast with some apprehension.

Timor is an island in Indonesia with rich volcanic soil that may have something to do the sweetness and flavor of the beans but, amazing coffee cherries won't make up for a shitty roast.  As best as I can tell Rich has two roasts which he uses on the Timor: "dark" and "fuck yeah! dark".  When the Timor is roasted dark I get a 20oz cup (or as they call it "large"). When the Timor is roasted darker, I get a bag. If beans are roasted properly some of the oils will come to the surface, the sugars will caramelize instead of burn, and the coffee will show you the face of god.
The darker roast adds a strong dark chocolate flavor;  not Hershey garbage, a high cocoa artisan chocolate. The darker roast tastes sweet enough that I happily put in less sugar. I have been drinking coffee for more than a decade and have had drip cups and espressos from roasters around the country and beans from around the world. I own an Aeropress, a french press, a Keurig  and I may even have coffee maker somewhere. I would say that I am a coffee enthusiast and I consider the dark roasted Timor at the Gryphon to be one of the best coffees I have ever had.

This is an actual picture of the actual coffee I drank while writing this

Thanks to all the staff of the Gryphon who put up with my bullshit daily.

#betterthansex #SMMR #GryphonCafeWayne

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