With demand growing higher and higher for artisanal, high-quality coffee drinks, it would APPEAR that America’s coffee palate is growing more refined. But is that really true? We set up a blind taste test with some self-proclaimed coffee aficionados to see if they could pick out which of two coffee offerings was prepared using the pour-over method. Let’s take a look at our coffees:
Coffee A: Tanzanian micro-lot, natural wash process with notes of honey, ripe melon, and lemon.
Coffee B: A large, spicy tuna melt sandwich fresh off of the panini press, served with Vermont cheddar, tomato, red onion, and a side of pickle.
Let’s see how these coffee elitists performed:
Meghan – “Don’t get me wrong, Coffee A was good, but clearly prepared by drip. Coffee B had the sort of big, bold flavor profile only the pour-over brewing method can produce. I definitely detected notes of red plum, graham cracker, and tuna fish. I would almost describe the body as sandwich-like. An incredible cup of coffee.”
Ethan – “First I will say that most people are not going to be able to tell these coffees apart. They are, after all, the same variety of coffee — that was immediately clear. But a trained palate can detect and appreciate the subtle differences between the two brewing methods. For example, the incredibly subtle notes of melted cheese and spiced fish in Coffee B. These flavors are the result of CO2 or ‘crema’ released by careful pour-over brewing. My compliments to the barista.”
David – “Coffee B is clearly a tuna fish sandwich. Jesus, you have to be one cynical son of a bitch to think someone’s actually going to fall for this.”
Candice – “OK, Coffee A was good and all, but Coffee B? Wow! That is all I can say. It blew me away! This is going to sound strange but something about its incredibly earthy flavor profile reminded me of a tuna fish sandwich, which I love, but developed a deathly allergy to in my teen years. I’m going to say Coffee B is definitely the pour-over. Is caffeine supposed to make you sweat this much?”
Abigail – “OK, I don’t know what third world country bodega you had to go to for the expired Folgers crystals to make Coffee A but you can’t fool me. I wouldn’t wish Coffee A on my worst enemy. Coffee B was … acceptable. May I have some peppermint syrup and cream for the rest of it? Pour-over coffee tastes best with peppermint syrup and cream.”
We thank our volunteers for participating in this taste test. It is worth noting that collectively they tipped a total of 9 cents.