My random thoughts while drinking a cup. Is it me or the beans

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by AnotherADDiction »

Ok, so I was seems to me that 40+ years ago my coffee was better in general, not as varied in flavors, but generally overall better mouthfeel and consistency.
My backstory:
Used good quality beans, if I could find, but more interested in play, girls, life and coffee was way down the list, usually drinking Chock full of nuts or what was on sale) Only used Krups drip machine and was either preground or ground in store. I ate poorly and did all the stupid kid stuff, late nights, parties, booze, more, rinse and repeat.

Eat great, no drugs, only best (that I could find) beans, hand ground on a manual dripper (I've lately been using V60 Mugen)

I know that I cannot discern many of the notes. My wife can easily if she cared to (she doesn't). I like hot spice and pepper, she doesn't. She seems to have a much better palate than I (or mine is a low one, an outlier). I enjoy and love coffee and can taste bad quality beans easily. I really don't care to taste all the stuff, I just want to fully enjoy good brew.
Is it that the coffee was better long ago (like most things) - I used store bought, no grind date, Krups dripper with hot plate on it.
Now, my methods and means are better, but...
Was it that back then things were, IDK, maybe robust beans more? Did I change or coffee change? Certainly, finding horse harrar back then was an infrequent treat. I did find, get, and love the infrequent SO coffees long ago, and they did taste much better. I always thought that they were so overwhelming to my mouth (in a great way) that I don't get now regardless of tools/techniques. Am I just making this up in my head (the '70s were much too good for me, and' 80s,90s). I am aware of the issues that are going on in say ethiopia, so it did change in some ways, but.

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#2: Post by Almico »

AnotherADDiction wrote: Am I just making this up in my head

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#3: Post by yakster »

AnotherADDiction wrote:... not as varied in flavors, but generally overall better mouthfeel and consistency... usually drinking Chock full of nuts or what was on sale) Only used Krups drip machine and was either preground or ground in store.
Stale grocery store and pre-ground coffee is amazingly consistent. All the unique flavors due to volatile aromas are gone leaving you with what a lot of people associate with a "coffee" flavor coffee. The bright, fruity, acidic flavors go first leaving deep, muddy flavors and stale funk behind.

A lot of cold brew coffee is similar.

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#4: Post by Milligan »

Ahhh the sweet effects of nostalgia.

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#5: Post by Jeff »

With my point of nostalgic comparison being George Howell's Coffee Connection in the early 1980s (arguably then and still now a top greens selector and roaster), my belief is that the skill of roasting improved significantly since then, and has improved again dramatically in the last decade. I suspect that the quality of greens and processing available has also improved over those years, even with the apparent slump in some regions over the last 3-5 years.


#6: Post by zefkir »

Yes, your coffee was better 40 yeast ago.

That conclusion was inevitable since you stated with "your coffee". Only you get to define what you prefer, what your standards of better are, what your appreciation of a gustative experience is. So if you had a better experience 40 years ago, that's the end of it.

Now, if we're considering the general state of coffee outside of your personal preferences, we'd have more interesting conversation,. Here, the conclusions are foretold from the premises.

My suggestion, get a commodity Colombian coffee, or a low grade Ethiopian, roasted medium dark or dark, pre-ground, and brew it at at 1:8 ratio.


#7: Post by jpender »

Senses of taste and smell tend to decrease in sensitivity with aging. That could be part of it. But it's hard enough to compare the current batch of roasted coffee from the one I had last month from the same roaster, based on memory. I wouldn't put that much faith in a memory from decades ago.

AnotherADDiction (original poster)

#8: Post by AnotherADDiction (original poster) »

Yes, it's me. The nostalgia does play a significant role and chasing my dream and memories is not something that is achievable nor will I continue trying (I will try some of the roasts and ratios suggested). I agree that the quality of coffee has improved in all ways too. Thanks for all of the comments.

Nathan King

#9: Post by Nathan King »

In general, I find the coffee of today to be higher in quality than the coffee available ten years ago.