I am not a coffee afficionada, because my brain only has so much space (and it’s been taken up with beer knowledge). I do love coffee, though. I like it when travelling, and have found ways to make it differ greatly on this little blue planet.
In Italy, the moka and the cafeterria reign supreme. In Boulder, the french press is popular. In South America, instant is the way to go. In Korea, one can use a drip coffee maker if you are common enough to want to make your coffee at home. In Vietnam, they use a special silver filter.
Which one is best? Or at least, which is best for me?
Time for a side-by-side taste test. All these coffee types were made with the same coffee (Peet’s Robust Roast, or as my Mama calls it, ‘Crack’). That excludes the instant espresso, which is Medaglia D’Oro brand from the Latino foods section. Where’s the Moka? I can’t find it. Maybe it’s in Korea somewhere.
Boom, done! 10 seconds to fresh espresso. Just add hot water. It’s so convenient, and I know why I normally keep one of these on my desk if I happen to be working an office job. At $4 for 2oz., it’s also the most cost efficient. It’s grassy and burnt in taste, but it has a great little foam if you pour the hot water hard.
This brought back memories of Busan mornings. The drawback: you have to buy filters. The good part: it makes the biggest cup. The result is a lighter, smooth coffee with a certain amount of slickness in the mouth. This process seemed to bring out a cinnamon aroma in this coffee, too.
Hard to believe that this was once my favourite coffee maker. It’s light, and burnt on the first sip. The second sip is milder, but I just cannot get over the debris left in the coffee. I wrote, “SANDY” in my tasting notes. No longer a favourite.
This is my new obsession. Vietnamese coffee is wonderful and thick. There is nothing better than a coffee next to the busy street on a hot Hanoi afternoon. I am not yet an expert at making it, but this attempt was concentrated and thick. There is remarkably less aroma compared to the other preparations, and it’s earthy. My favourite.
Even though I’m back freelancing and need energy to sit in front of the laptop for eight hours a day, I don’t need four cups of coffee. I poured some into cups to put outside with incense, in true Vietnamese fashion. Thank you, gods of coffee, for such abundance.