Two Unrelated Points About Coffee

If you truly love coffee and you’ve written Kaldi’s off, don’t!

While I’ve personally been critical of them in the past, I’ve never disliked them as a roaster and it’s time for an update because over the last couple years, as they’ve gotten into direct sourcing of green coffee and consumer education, they’ve raised the bar in regards to what coffee can be in St. Louis. Many of these beans have been fantastic and Kaldi’s regularly hosts educational cuppings and brewing demonstrations in each of their locations to teach you about what the various regions and varietals of coffee taste like, and how to get the most from them at home.

Additionally, each month one of these coffees is part of the Kaldi’s World Tour and in their Crescent location they feature the month’s bean as Toddy cold-brewed iced coffee, a single origin espresso or cappuccino, or brewed with the Clover.  For October the World Tour coffee is the Fair Trade Rwanda COOPAC.  As espresso it’s one of the best single origin shots I’ve ever sampled–having a wonderful body and citrus notes that go beyond the typical lemon and meander into mandarin orange.  I implore you to go get some.

How much is too much?

I’ve taken quite a bit of flack recently for the amount of money I’m willing to pay for coffee.  It seems that much like the Bud Light drinker can’t fathom why anyone would drink a craft beer, so too the Folgers drinker can’t wrap their head around why someone would pay, say, $40 for a pound of coffee.  Unquestionably my favorite person to have this argument with is the guy that gulps down a couple 20oz bottles of Mountain Dew each day, but what’s especially odd is that even amongst people who take their food seriously (that’s you!), I take a lot more shit for this than I’d have ever expected.  Further confusing me is that some of this is dished out by people whom I know frequent coffee shops daily rather than brewing their coffee at home.

Breaking it down

The accepted standard for a brewed cup of coffee in the United States, as defined by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, is 6oz of water to 10g of coffee.  In fairness, that’s not much coffee.  Like most people, I drink more, and I also like it stronger which means I brew my morning cup with 22g of beans to 12oz of water (though I weigh the water too).

Therefore, for a $40/lb coffee:

  • 1lb is approximately 453.59g
  • 453.59g yields me 20 approximately 12oz brewed cups of coffee
  • $2 per cup

So the next time you’re passing up a $16/lb coffee on the basis that it’s too pricey, consider this: it’s an 80 cent 12oz cup and, by volume, that’s less than Mr. Mountain Dew’s $1.50 for 20oz.

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