Today, I smelled blueberries in coffee. This may not sound like something monumental, but as someone widely known to be a coffee dunce marrying someone known to be a coffee fanatic, it is a big step for me.
Daniel is so passionate about coffee that it’s often hard for me to relate – I was not a big coffee drinker before he got into it and am only slightly more so now. He goes to cuppings often (sometimes multiple times per week) to develop his palate and learn more about the individual coffees, where they are grown, and what sort of taste profile they have. It is very much like wine tasting, which I am also crap at.
He has me smell all sorts of different coffees and asks if I can sense “berries” or “grapefruit” or “flowers” and I never, ever can. It all smells like coffee to me. I say this jokingly, like, “Oh hey, don’t even bother, it will just smell like coffee to me.” but it does sort of suck not being able to share it with him.
I mean, really, the guy knows why you should not use tables in website layouts. The least I can do is sniff coffee.
And today, TODAY, he was meticulously showing me how to make coffee with his pretty new Eva Solo full immersion coffeemaker, and had me sniff the Stumptown Hairbender Blend in his grinder and then sniff the Ethiopia Biloya we were using for our coffee and OMG IT WORKED. The Hairbender is a blend of several different sorts of coffee and that compared with the Biloya actually gave me a basis for comparison and I could totally smell the berry-ness of it. (The berry flavor, as Daniel so kindly just explained to me, comes from the way the beans are initially processed – they leave the bean inside the coffee cherry to dry, and then they take it out and process it, so the bean absorbs some of the sugars and other stuff from the cherry before it moves on.)
Ladies and gentlemen, I almost cried. Seriously. Finally being able to discern some sort of flavor in coffee was huge for me. Daniel never makes me feel like I disappoint him in coffee endeavors, but I always feel guilty on some level that I can’t manage to “get” any of it. Today gave me hope that I can not be so much of a coffee dunce in the future.
I am learning, slowly but surely.