How Europe Ruined Coffee For Me - My Recovery So Far

in life •  24 days ago


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Well, it may not be a secret that I love coffee… it’s a deep love, one that goes back generations (ok, maybe just a bit more than a decade). Its not that I need coffee, I am not one of those people who cannot function until they get their daily fix. Or one who needs their coffee before they are pleasant in the morning. I mean, I just wake up this glorious ray of sunshine that you all know me as... I don’t even require coffee for that. Impressive right?

It’s that I enjoy it. I love absolutely everything about it... and I like strong.

So, on my recent trip to Europe I was so extremely pleased with the coffee there. From the in room coffee in Poland, to the lovely espresso in the quaint café’s of Belgrade. Now, I knew it was “espresso” and realized it in fact most was some sort of freeze dried instant espresso stuff, and while I’m not one to love anything that comes out of a package.. that coffee was amazing.

You may be wondering where I am going with this.. honestly I’m kind of wondering the same, but I swear I had a point. Ok, ok.. I'll try to get to the point



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As some of you may also know, American’s drink “drip” coffee. I’m not exactly sure why, it’s probably because we Americans try to ruin all food, all of it. What is wrong with us?!? It’s not that drip coffee is bad necessarily. I mean it is good when done right, and then it tastes like dirty water when done wrong (my folks make it very wrong). I am not a coffee snob by any means, but as someone who drinks it to enjoy it.. if it doesn’t taste good, I want no part in it.

So what happens after a week of enjoying the most amazing coffee in Europe?

You come home to American drip coffee and cry your bloody eyes out , over whatever this nonsense is in your cup. I’m not kidding, it’s all horrible now.. all of it. I have never felt such disappointment in my life. No matter how strong I make it, no matter what roast I try.. it’s just not the same. It is all dirty water to me now.

It’s like enjoying filet mignon for the first time, and then having to go back to sirloin for the rest of your life… it’s just wrong. Wrong I say!

After many attempts at fixing this travesty with no avail, I had given up on coffee. Just said goodbye to something I had loved so dearly… no longer satisfied with whatever garbage had been passed off as coffee to me my whole life. The taste was wrong, the smell was wrong.. it had lost its appeal completely.

Then a magical thing happened

I was making one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes for a Christmas family gathering and realized something amazing. You see, I add a touch of espresso powder to the cake batter.. it gives the chocolate an extra kick and a unique flavor. Well, while doing so on this occasion.. the smell hit me. Yep, that beautiful familiar scent…this was it!! Espresso powder! It was like a Christmas Miracle!


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Now I know this is probably not a shock to most of you, but my small American brain had not put it together. I mean you don’t even find this stuff in the coffee isle, it’s in the baking isle. We will just mark it down as another American conspiracy, hiding the good stuff where no one will look.

But my love for chocolate had saved me once again.. and this does mean I can love coffee again. Actually, even more before, it’s like I got an upgrade. The smell, the taste, its all just as I remember it in Europe… and oh good lord it is good to be back!


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So, here’s to rediscovering the love of your life.. even if it comes in the form of a liquid beverage.



Much Love,
Justine


Yes all photos are mine that I took with my Fuji X-t2... because I actually went around taking pictures of coffee while on vacation... I am officially that person.




I was nominated by @lordbutterfly because he is not creative at all.. and while I’m not entirely sure this was funny.. most COM entries aren’t, so I think it will do. Plus I am a judge this week, so this entry doesn't even count :)


I hereby nominate @amirtheawesome1 because I miss him, @blewitt because he makes me giggle, and @lordbutterfly because if he can’t write a COM entry we will have nothing to read except his actifit posts.

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Um...there's no such thing as an espresso bean. Those marketed for espresso are the same types of beans used for normal coffee. It's just that coffee beans can have quite a variation on taste depending on where they're grown, how much water they get, etc. They also have to be relatively fresh, like everything else.

I can only guess that what you bought as "espresso powder is likely a finely ground bean that you happen to like. It might also have artificial flavouring. I don't know.

You just have to find an actually good bean that you like and possibly consider switching away from drip coffee to french press or espresso or even the old style of coffee makers that boil it up into a basket. The main thing is the beans though. Americans for some reason think "good" coffee is stuff from Starbucks. That stuff is mediocre, at best. More accurately, it's on the lower side of mediocre. There's better coffee available for half the price...but you pretty much have to try tons of them until you find one that's good for a good price. I personally like using an espresso machine as well and just running through extra water. This makes a very strong coffee using less grounds and has less oil.

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Oh, yes.. I know it’s not a different bean.. I don’t think I said so, but I’ll double check. I get it’s all about how it’s grown, roasted etc. And yes, you are 100% the espresso powder (which is just ground up coffee beans, no flavoring) just happens to be a similar taste as the coffee I had in Europe.. and is why I was excited.

Starbucks is horrid I agree! I do prefer a percolator or French press, but it was something about the flavor. So, the espresso powder will hold me over until I find that perfect bean for me.. or move to Europe.. whichever is easier 😜

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I thought coffee was that black water you drink in the morning because MDMA is too expensive. I could have never guessed theres a science behind it.
Hmm.
I used to think that the most important question with coffee was:

One spoon of sugar or two?

Im such a simpleton. :(

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Science is just a process, a set of rules. Experimenting with multiple coffees, brewing them in different ways, at different temperatures, in order to determine the best way can be scientific, in a way. But then again, so is trying to figure out a recipe for the perfect pie. But then, once you're done, what's left is just a recipe, a means of production, that if you follow, you get a "perfect" result.

Just like making MDMA, you start with your base ingredients processed from plants and follow the recipe to derive your product. The process of discovering it is scientific, but once you figure it all out, it's just a recipe.

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A lot of instant espresso powder is freeze dried espresso. That stuff, if you can find an okay brand, doesn't leave grinds - so it's suitable for cooking with too. That is unless you like chewing on beans - chocolate dipped coffee beans are quite nice.

I also love a good coffee :)
$rewarding 14min 75%

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Ah, it’s just so good 😊 thanks for the love!

Dude, seriously. You're in the wrong continent. Your home is in Europe!!!! Get your arse back in there! 😂

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Lol. I don’t think they would have me 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Almost flagged this comment as it's total crap

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😂😂😂😂

Someone already did lol.. geez who knew people were so touchy about coffee. Also, I’m totally going to show up on your doorstep soon Mark.. I’m going to make cakes with your wife and spoil your daughter.. I’ll be like that annoying sister in law you never knew you had 😜

Come down to Ecuador and you will ruin your coffee experience one more time... hahahaha ... I get you though, while Ecuador has some of the best coffee around .. here in Argentina coffee sucks soooo much.. it's all dirty water with a hint of ashes hahah... it's hard.. when someone comes to visit and brings a bag of coffee it's the best time of the year.

How I measure good coffee? If it's good it doesn't need sugar at all .. you don't need to ruin it's taste or smell.

There is a special way of preparing it that I love that it is called ''Cafe pasado'' .. basically you make a concentrate , or an ''essence'' that is really strong and thick ( i don't know how this is done ) and you just mix it really fresh with water or milk on the table... sooo good.

add a bar of dark choco and the experience is enhanced x10 hehehe

Happy New Year!!

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dirty water and ashes lol, that sounds horrid! Oh gosh I bet Ecuador has amazing coffee! And I agree, if you don’t have to add anything, that is pretty good coffee. The concentrate sounds super interesting, I’ll have to look more into it. add chocolate <—- why we are friends right there ❤️🤗

Just to fix injustice :D the procedure of making espressos here is that it is held as a coffee beam until you need to make the coffee, then it is grinded to be used on an espresso maschine. one of the reasons why it tastes so good is that it is not in the "powder" shape for a long time.

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Ohhhh see I got tricked there too, I had packaged espresso often 👀.. seems I still haven’t had the best. I might need to come back just to drink some coffee. Thank you!! ❤️❤️❤️

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let me demonstrate :D https://d.tube/v/bil.prag/6dsm0duv

also the way you make milk foam makes a difference :)

Packed espresso is just a easier to make.

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What an awesome video!! Loved the edit.. and yeah.. not sure I had a coffee made that way when I was there 🙃.. maybe at the cafe on knez Mihailova, but hey.. even the packets where better than the stuff here. Haha. Thanks for the video!!

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thanks. happy new year.

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Thanks Checky! Amir, the 1 is kind of confusing...just saying

My list for espresso based:

  • Italia, separate universe
  • Belgium, very close to perfection
  • Greece, the best cold coffee

  • France, ok-ish
  • Germany, muddy hot water
  • Switzerland, tasty muddy hot water made of gold and diamonds
  • Austria, battery acid mixed with fresh grass (lower temperature of roasting). Horrible, horrible coffee

For Greek/homebrewed style, no filtering included

  • The cheapest Auchan brand in France - perfect!
  • Croatian, fine if you drink it with milk
  • Serbian, way too fine powder, bad texture if mixed with milk but perfect without

Milk for coffee

  • Greek Delta milk - The Milk
  • Slovenian "slatdka smetana", 35% fat :D smooth heart attack
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Haha! Love this list! I am saving it for my future coffee adventures, thank you ❤️

Switzerland, tasty muddy hot water made of gold and diamonds

That one made me laugh out loud 😂

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I forgot to mention this weird Hungarian stuff with honey (melange):

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Oh my... this looks interesting and delightful 😮

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Greece, the best cold coffee

As a Greek guy...I confirm :)

I'm a coffee lover myself, and I try not to be a snob, but I really can't understand why people make drip either. Ever since I discovered a French press, there has been no turning back. I also love a good espresso from time to time as well, but it's usually too much of a hassle for me to do it every day. I've also been lucky enough to have some European instant coffee, which of course sounded vulgar from what we Americans know of instant coffee, but it was quite delightful. Pic related is how I start my day every morning, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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I use to have a French press and really liked it.. I misplaced it in the move and haven’t rebought one.. but the flavor was still different to me. I’ll have to get another one and start experimenting with different coffees. Also dude.. that machine in the corner is extremely fancy.. come over and make me a coffee please 😄

I enjoyed reading your post and it made me laugh 😀
I'm going to tell you my story. I've been a coffee addict for years, and year and been drinking only strong espresso. I live in Europe, so now you know what I mean by that. I have my own espresso machine at home and if I were to drink coffee elsewhere, I was always careful what I choose.
However, when you travel abroad, you have to look twice or three times because what is coffee to others, might be dirty water to me as you said 😂
When I was in Paris and I saw those big mugs that they were serving coffee in, I knew it right away that is not my kind of coffee. So I went out to hunt a place where kebab was served, because I knew those people know what coffee really is and I was right. The cup was small and the coffee was strong and perfect!
I've never been to the US, I don't know how coffee tastes but when I see those big mugs in the movies, I know that's not my kind of coffee. 😀
Unfortunately I had to give up drinking coffee in September because i could not control it any more, became tolerant and it was abuse what I was doing. Still have a high respect for coffee though ☕
I truly hope you can find your coffee again.
It was nice to read your post.

Happy New Year @llfarms! 🍾🎇

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Hahahah! The big mugs are a dead give away for sure! Yeah, once you have the good stuff at home trying to travel and find something equivalent has to be tricky.

Good for you for giving up the habit when it became unhealthy, some people aren’t capable of that.. so total props for doing so! I try to give myself breaks from coffee often because I know it can become a bit of an addiction, and I don’t like to be dependent on anything.

Thank you so much for your story ❤️ Happy New Years

"most COM entries aren’t."

Lucky is the steemian that gets you as a judge. hahaha

And dont you dis my Actifit posts. Theyre special. :D

To fix your coffee problem very easily.

+

Done and done. :D

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👀 shhhhh! They won’t let me judge anymore!

I don’t know what these things are by I will buy them immediately...

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Huh? Thats how you make coffee. You put water in the thingy there, boil it and add 2-3 spoons of ground coffee in.. Mix it up and viola!
I dont drink coffee but i can vouch for this being the proper way to make coffee. Ive seens it.

😂 what about the Panamanian coffee girl ?

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Oh, I drank that immediately 😉 it was delightful

I know how you feel. Italy, Germany and France are a level up again from Poland . But here’s the thing . I’m a European and us Europeans love the cof. I went on holidays to South Africa and the same thing happened to me! 😂😂😂. So now you have to go to SA! I’ve gone through 3 coffee machines to recreate the taste , tried your dreaded drip coffee but to no avail. 😭😭😭. I’m even now going through the crafty homeone brands. I know you plight.

Sounds like a great hack! You should try Nespresso! Great machine with great options and service! Look to wake up in the morning with coffee from anywhere in the world in under a minute!

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Funny I was just reading a post about that! I will have to look into it. The hack is working for now, until I find a permanent replacement Haha. Thanks for the tip!

You might give the Aeropress a try. It is the easiest way to make a good strong shot of coffee at home. It isn't really espresso, but is pretty close considering how low tech the Aeropress is.

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Oh thank you for tip! I will have to look into it... I don’t always need espresso, I just want a good cup of coffee haha. I hope you have a Happy New Year!🎊

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https://aeropressinc.com/faqs/

We like our coffee diluted with some hot water to super-strong rather than espresso-strength.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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Italian coffee was a million times better than coffee here in the States. I was't a huge coffee drinker before but when I was there I got it routinely because it was so damn good. The coffee out of vending machines there is better than most of the junk here!

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So true! I know there are ways to get good coffee here, but I feel a bit deceived by what we have been given as the “normal” coffee haha.

As an italian i must admit i think the good coffee is only the one made with a moka :P

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I am learning so many things today! I have never heard of Moka, but I will be looking into it now! Thank you for the tip 💕

Hahahha this reminds me of some items we had in Holland and are also sold here in the supermarket, but not next to the cacoa butter etc to put on your bread, no ... at the baking section... they sell "hagelslag" and "vlokken" which are both very normal things to put on your bread (chocolate yum) I was so happy when I saw Hagelslag, but then I noticed they put cupcakes on the package.. and vlokken are only sold in mini packages as cupcake decoration :(

We had instant coffee for a long time here.. until 6 months ago I was fed up not enjoying my coffee when I saw a Senseo machine.. Now I love my strong coffee made with pads again :-)

Enjoy your new found coffee experience!

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Yeah it sounds like I might need to invest in some equipment haha! It’s funny how depending on where you are, where they put ingredients etc.. baking isles seem to be the secret place to find the good stuff! Bummer about only being available in mini packages though, that’s just silly.

I’m glad you have your coffee back again, I’m happy as of now and on a mission to find a long term fix haha. Happy new year ❤️

Hehe what a great discovery at the beginning of the new year! ;)
You want me to send you some coffee/beans from europe?

@bil.prag nice video you created there in the love of coffee! And you're totally right keep the coffee in it's beanshape as long as possible.

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Hahaha! I need to search harder for the good stuff I guess, and bring a big suitcase my next trip to bring some back 😄

I love that video, and yes.. keeping it in bean form for the longest time seems to be the key!

Happy New Year 🎊

Coffee is love. Coffee is life~

I can't get by without coffee... aaaaaah....

Such a caffeinated post ! I FEEL LIKE I NEED ANOTHER CUP OF COFFEE RIGHT NOW NOW now

mouth watering, heading to prepare a cup of coffee... :)
We have a special recipe in the Canary Islands, it's called barraquito if you ask for coffee they normally understand that's what you're asking for. it includes

coffee (expresso) + milk + condensated milk+ cream, cinammon, lemon peek and some drops of 46 liquor, and it costs around a dollar (or used to hahah).

My nursery was side by side to a miller that would grind coffee beans... that smell was in my brain before I could properly talk hahaha :)
I have no other vices... but

coffee? sigh! been trying to quit but can't... I'm one of those ones that need the morning fix (and afternoon fix, and early evening fix hahahaha )

Happy New Year!

I relate in the opposite direction. When I travel overseas it can sometimes be hard to find a good flat white. Upon landing home, I join a queue of other Kiwis looking for a good fix before leaving the airport. Ah, that flat white - gotta have good ingredients and skilled barristers to make a good one.
If you like the chocolately taste in your coffee then try Kopi Luwak. I personally prepare it Vietnamese style allowing it to drip through grounds onto some sweetened condensed milk. That stuff is amazing.
Oh, yes, Kopi Luwak is the coffee that has been passed through the digestive tract of a Civet, so sometimes called Cat Poo Coffee. Get over the ick and try it ... simply amazing and quite chocolately.

Honestly, I'm not a coffee drinker but I can relate to the general theme as I suffered something similar during my time in Northern Nigeria. The thing is, most vegetables are grown here, thus fresher than what we get in the South(where I'm actually from). On reaching the south, I got disgusted by how the vegetables tasted and of course how expensive they were compared to this other part of Nigeria.

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