13 April 2009

Unwarranted Coffee Expectations

Green coffee beans drying out in Sagada.

I was sent a package of roasted coffee from Mindanao sometime ago, and several packets were ground very finely and burnt quite severely. It was bitter, and the solids kept getting into the beverage, when done both on a drip machine and a French press. When I asked my friend, whose coffee ("Kape Moro") is a hit every week at the local wet markets, he explained to me that every town has its own preferred form and way of preparing the bean.

More green beans in Sagada.

Some areas like it roasted until it is extremely bitter. Some like it a little bit lighter. Because they do not own coffeemakers, some people boil grounds with water in a pot or kettle and strain the liquid. Others pour boiling water into a cup containing finely powdered coffee-- and eat the resulting bitter muck at the bottom when they are finished drinking. The bitterness is often a measure for potency and provides a "kick". Apparently, because the Moslems cannot take alcohol, there are some "everyday" avenues for mind-alteration.

Coffee drying out in Alfonso, Cavite.

In a world where a small group of connoisseurs exist for every large commodity, it can be easy to invalidate folk usage. Sometimes we have to be reminded that there is no one (or two, or three) way(s) to prepare a certain food, and we need to be confident enough to explore our own preferences. In a country where many people still grow coffee trees in their backyards for personal stash, there are equally many ways to enjoy it.

Popular Posts