What is a good cup of coffee?

by chee Leng (on coffee makers)
(Singapore)

Is this a good coffee?

Is this a good coffee?

The thing you want to know is: who is writing all these. Who am I to write this?


Am I an award winning baristas or a CEO of some large coffee company? I am neither of those but who am I is important -a coffee drinker. An article solely from a coffee drinker perspective.

There is a lot of theory about coffee, the temperature, the pressure, the equipment, the types of beans and even the types of cups that you used!

The list goes on. It seems almost impossible to get a good cup of coffee unless you go to a upscale gourmet coffee shop and have it prepared by an award winning baristas.

One that would cost you a bomb for a cup of coffee because they are specialist. They know what is a good cup of coffee, they measured everything, so that would be a good cup of coffee.

But, would that "good cup of coffee" fit your taste profile?

Even you are not in the coffee trade, you would know that instant coffee is not a "good coffee". Single serve waste resources and can never be counted as good coffee.

Interestingly, instant coffee still has the biggest market share, and single serve coffee is the fastest growing coffee segment.

What about coffee shops? Starbucks is definitely a lousy coffee, or so we were told. Hmm...but they are still the biggest coffee chain in the world (of course, unless we compare them with Mcdonalds, Mc Cafe is pretty big too).

I am a coffee drinker. And the coffee which I drink everyday are Robusta beans (and probably one of the lower grade Robusta), roasted with sugar and butter.

This is known as Nanyang coffee (very popular in Singapore and Malaysia), commonly known as Kopi.

I paid S$0.80 for a cup. It is brewed using coffee socks and served in a wide array of cups, from plastic to porcelain.

There are close to 3 million like minded individuals in my country of 5 million that drink and love this coffee.

If a coffee guru would to know about this, they would be shocked -how can one even drink this coffee? But, this is and remains to be the favorite coffee for many people.

I am writing this because so many people have asked me what is a coffee, what is the best coffee maker, the best grinder, the best coffee shop and so on.

A coffee that makes your day is a good coffee.

While airy fairy it might sound, this is really the basic. To me, there is no such thing as bad coffee. Sure, gourmet coffee was prepared with lots of heart by the coffee shop baristas, but know this:

-thousands of people worked to single serve coffee what it is

-instant coffee employs tens of thousands of people, so that it can be readily available to you

-millions was poured into instant coffee research to make them better

-tens of millions was invested into coffee pods to make them consistent

-and billions of dollars are spend on these business from manufacturing to distribution to infrastructure to make them lower cost for consumers.

So, a lot of hands was involved in a simple packet of instant coffee.

Someone told me that it takes 40 hands from plucking the coffee beans to serving you a cup of coffee prepared by a baristas.

It probably take more for that packet of instant coffee.

So, if you are drinking instant coffee, and there is nothing wrong with it -why bother to change? And if you like going to Starbucks or Mc Cafe, stop feeling guilty -their coffee is not too bad.

So long as you enjoy it, it is good coffee. My $0.02



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