Thursday, August 02, 2012

Beating Homogeneity Out Of Iced Coffee

Cold Brew Towers at work in The Lab at Spro.

Just yesterday I was mentioned in a blog post about Iced Coffee and Cold Brews. For those of you not following the coffee biz it's been a heated topic for the past few months with various people arguing about which iced coffee brew method is "best" - as though there has to be one magical brew formula that bests all others.

 Quite frankly, I just think it's a load of hogwash.

All across 3WCoffee people with the intention of proving that they're "right" because they've used some sort of psuedo-scientific method or newfangled electronic device that tells you that their technical numbers are "right" and that number means that your drink is "awesome." And they haven't even tasted it yet.

It's as though there's some sort of campaign to get everyone to brew the same way.

Which leads to the question: do I think that the methods we use at Spro are superior to the others? The answer is: of course! Otherwise, we wouldn't be serving coffee in that manner.

Do I then want everyone else to brew and present coffee the same way we do? Absolutely not - that's just ridiculous.

What I want to see when visiting coffee places is vision and interpretation. Sure Mad Cap and Spro can buy the Ardi green coffee from the same person and have the same coffee from the same lot, but do I want the two coffees to taste exactly the same? Gosh, what fun would that be? That's about as exciting as a tour of DC coffeehouses where the coffee is the same everywhere.

I want to experience the interpretation and the nuance as offered by that barista or that shop. Give me something different, interesting and exciting. And for God's sake, taste the coffee instead of running it through some machine!

Is that to say that we expect our way of brewing to be the do-all, end-all for all people? Well, that would be nice. But I accepted many years ago that what we do will not be the right fit for all people. We're making coffee to our vision and to our tastes. We want people to experience our interpretation of coffee - hopefully, they find it as interesting and exciting as we do, but sometimes they do not.

Some people dislike the way we brew iced coffee and that's okay. There are plenty of places brewing coffee in a different manner that they might find more appealing. But all of this argument, discussion and banner waving about whose method is "best"? That's just malarkey. Taste is what determines what is "best" and we let taste be our guide, and I hope you do too.

Because my guests don't come into Spro bearing measuring devices looking for some magic number, they actually drink the coffee.


Jack said...

Aw Jay, can't everyone just agree on what tastes right and that be the standard for everyone and if you vary from it you are cast out into the coffee-nether-world? It would be so much easier and I would feel so much better about myself.

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Shane Lapan said...

As long as your coffee tastes better that would be fine and all barista have different techniques on brewing coffee or iced coffee.