When most people hear the words “cream and sugar”, the first thing that comes to mind is coffee. That's because a vast majority of coffee drinkers around the world need it to fully enjoy their magic brew. I was one of them. In this modern coffee age where super sweet milk-based coffees are becoming more popular by the day, drinking coffee black (no cream or sugar) may seem more of a rarity these days. But the art of drinking pure black coffee is far from lost and you may surprised to learn that there are still many excellent reasons to drink black coffee.
The Coffee May Taste Better
Yes, you read that right. I started off this list of reasons to drink black coffee with a reason that could justifiably have the reader think I was nuts. But hear me out. Black coffee is our beloved brew in its purest and most unadulterated form. It's like the ultimate litmus test for the quality of a coffee bean. By drinking black coffee you'll now be able perceive whole new dimensions of flavor and nuances. All those subtle nutty hints and complex floral notes come to life when there's no sugar or cream in the way. It's for this reason that most coffee reviewers will drink their coffee black.
Believe it or not, people's tastes and palettes change over time. Things you once disliked as a child, you may now enjoy as an adult. Case in point: Black Coffee. Perhaps you, like many of us, tried coffee when you were a kid and experienced the taste of true bitterness for the first time. If yours was anything like mine, it wasn't a pleasant experience. And decades later, I find myself writing an article on reasons to drink your coffee black with taste being one of them. It's amazing how taste buds can mature!
Becoming a Better Taster
Drinking black coffee with the right mindset can literally transform the sensitivities of your taste buds. Allow me to share a brief anecdote to illustrate. I used to drink my coffee with loads of sugar and cream. When a friend of mine joked “do you take any coffee with your sugar?”, I got to thinking and the thought of switching to black coffee entered my head for the first time. I thought it would be unbearable since that's why I added the cream and sugar in the first place. In an effort to cut down on my sugar intake, I started drinking my coffee black and discovered something wonderful. There was a whole world of flavors that I didn't know about and most importantly, actually liked! It blew my mind that my taste buds were feeling so super-charged and fine-tuned. I found my taste buds even picking up similar nuances in other foods and drinks that I'd consume throughout the day.
It's worth mentioning that I don't always drink my coffee black. I still enjoy a frap, latte, or cappuccino as the next coffee lover. The only difference is that I now appreciate black coffee in ways I had never imagined.
Health Reasons to Drink Black Coffee
This may not be a surprising reason, but it's arguably the most important one when it comes to reasons to drink black coffee. We all know sugar and cream taste good and it's easy to go overboard on things that taste good. Countless studies have linked high sugar and caloric intake to a host of health issues. Many people will find that any opportunity to reduce sugar and caloric intake is a good one. Black coffee has virtually 0 calories making it also ideal for those looking to lose weight. If you're interested in losing weight, consider taking black coffee with that contains MCT. VitaCup's Genuis Blend makes an excellent medium roast coffee that contains MCT in addition to other vitamins and minerals.
Coffee in general has long been a source of many health benefits. Drinking your coffee black ensures that you receive them in full.
Tips on Drinking Black Coffee
Although drinking your coffee black allows you to enjoy its hidden flavor, it also makes any imperfections more noticeable. This is why black coffee is often considered either really good or really bad. That being the case, if you're interested in giving black coffee a try, there are a few things you can do to ensure you're getting the best and fullest experience possible.
Freshness is Key
There are two tips for making sure you get the freshest coffee. First, you'll want to check the roast date. Most roasters agree that you need to wait anywhere between 3-7 days before enjoying your brew. Knowing the roast date allows you to select a bean when it's in its prime state. It should be noted that roast date and best by date are completely different. The best by date doesn't really reveal the information you need to know in the context of freshness. Secondly, it goes without saying that you'll want to use whole bean coffee. No question. Grinding the beans right before you use them is always the best option and will guarantee the freshest experience possible.
The quality of a bean really reveals itself in black coffee. It's always a good idea to aim for the best bean possible, but it's especially important when drinking black coffee since the bean qualities are extra apparent. Premium quality beans are defined by a number of metrics and it may be different for each type of coffee drinker. For some, it's making sure the beans come from a small farm or micro-lot where its origins can be clearly traced. For others, it may be blends using only top-rated beans. Either way you'll want to select a bean from a trusted brand. Out of the Grey coffee is one such brand that we'd recommend as they consistently source premium beans that make a very impressive brew.
You may have noticed that most flavored coffees come in a light roast. That's because light roasts allow the flavors to more fully express their character. Dark roasted beans will invariably have a bolder flavor that naturally masks some of the finer details of the brew. A light roast is a good choice when going with black coffee but by no means a rule. There are still plenty of medium and dark roasts that are exceptional particularly when enjoyed black. One such example is the D'Enzo Blend from Out of the Grey Coffee. This is an exquisitely deep and rich blend with a smooth finish and a delicious brew to enjoy black.
There are plenty of other reasons to drink black coffee but these are the ones that struck a chord with me. If you're a cream and sugar type of coffee lover, consider experimenting with it black the next time you make your brew. To me, black coffee and “coffee with cream and sugar” are two totally different drinks that fulfill me in vastly different ways. There's a place in my coffee-heart for both of them. Whether you're the type that even needs reasons to drink black coffee in the first place, I'm hoping the article provided some kind of inspiration to liven up your coffee experience.