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If you’re always craving a cappuccino or you love a latte then you may find a cup of black coffee a difficult idea to stomach. Black coffee is so daunting as it swirls in your mug with its endless dark depths.
Switching from a smooth milky cup of joe to a jet black mug of java isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if you’ve been a specialty coffee junky your whole life. Black coffee is rich and bold in flavor with an intensity that rivals nothing else and it’s not uncommon to hear it described as an acquired taste.
If you’ve ever wondered how to drink black coffee then read on. Here is everything you need to know about black coffee, how to choose your beans and brew method, how to transition to drinking it as well as the health benefits that come from taking your morning java pure and simple.
Black coffee can be quite intense to try and drink on its own so first things first you have to make sure you are using a type of coffee that you enjoy as well as a brew method that suits your tastes. Gradually reduce the milk and sweetener over time until these are non-existent and before you know it, you’ll be drinking coffee as black as the night sky!
What Is Black Coffee?
Black coffee is simply a cup of coffee without any sweeteners, creamer or any other additives added. Making black coffee a great choice for along side a juice cleanse. It is often considered an acquired taste due to the intense flavors and bitter notes that some coffee drinkers love. There are numerous ways to brew black coffee with Americano and Filter Coffee being among the most popular options found at coffee shops.
Black coffee boasts the purest aroma and most intense coffee flavor to ignite your taste buds but when it comes to the benefits of black coffee, there’s more than just flavor to consider. A cup of black coffee comes with more than a few health benefits so let’s look into these now.
Why Enjoy it Black?
One of the main reasons why people love black coffee is that it’s a great weight loss aid. It’s very low in calories (around 10 per cup of coffee) so can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet without tipping the scales. This study has shown that coffee can help aid weight loss by activating metabolically active, brown fat tissue. The caffeine content is the key player here and helps get your body up and moving as well.
Another good reason for enjoying some black coffee is the energy boost that comes with it. Black coffee has a high caffeine content per volume of liquid which helps get your heart pumping and directs blood to your skeletal muscles (the ones needed for physical activity). This can help aid your performance during exercise which is why some gym-goers use coffee as a pre-workout.
A side effect most coffee lovers appreciate is the mood-boosting effect that comes from drinking black coffee. Studies have shown that a single cup of coffee can elevate your mood and reverse adverse effects brought on by sleep deprivation.
A final real benefit of enjoying quality coffee is that the roasted beans are packed full of antioxidants. These little health boosters help reduce inflammation and cell damage caused by stress. They are another great reason to enjoy your coffee and feel good about drinking it.
Different Roast Levels
Choosing whole beans that suit your taste preferences often comes back to their roast level. The roast describes the length of time the coffee beans remain in the roaster which helps bring out different flavors when brewed into the fresh coffee.
Lighter roast coffee is removed from the roaster when it’s still light brown in color and hasn’t cooked for very long. It’s high in acidity which gives it a brightness with complex flavor notes of fruity and floral tastes. It’s slightly higher in caffeine compared to darker roasts.
If the beans are left in the roaster a bit longer than for light roast, you get medium roast coffee. This is a slightly darker brown color and richer in sweet flavors like chocolate and caramel. If you leave the beans in much longer they become dark roast coffee. These kinds of beans are dark brown to black in color and oily to touch. They are rich in bold, single-note flavors like burnt caramel or dark chocolate and sometimes have a gentle bitterness.
The roast level can significantly affect the taste of your coffee and choosing one that fits with your taste preferences can wake you up to the delicious taste of a cup of black coffee.
Origin of Coffee Beans
Alongside roast level, different coffee types can impact how much you enjoy your cup of joe. Arabica vs Robusta beans is the first thing to consider. Arabica beans are generally considered to be the best coffee beans as they contain more delicate, complex flavor notes with a subtle sweetness. Robusta beans are cheaper to buy but tend to be bitter to taste and have harsh flavor notes like burnt wood and tobacco.
The country of origin of the coffee bean has a large impact on the flavor notes. The five biggest coffee-producing countries in the world are Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Brazil produces coffee that’s smooth and sweet in flavor with chocolate notes whereas Ethiopian coffee beans are packed full of fruity flavors with complexity like tea or red wine. If you’re not sure which type of coffee suits you best then it’s a good idea to opt for a sample packet so you can try and see what works for you.
Single-origin beans vs blends is another consideration. Single origin beans are from the same plantation and contain a robust combination of flavors. They are generally considered high quality but can be harsh in taste. Blended beans contain coffee beans that have been chosen to compliment and balance the flavors and generally create a more consistent tasting coffee.
How to Transition to Black Coffee
If you’ve only ever asked the local barista for a latte or you prefer Starbucks for their caramel macchiatos then it can be quite a leap to transition back to black coffee. The best way to start easing into it is to slowly reduce the additives. Gradually decrease the amount of milk and sweetener you add over days to weeks. Consider the coffee beans you are using as these may be influencing how much you do or don’t enjoy the changes to your coffee. If you’re still not sure whether or not black coffee is for you then it’s worth considering how you brew coffee.
Consider Different Brew Methods
The kind of coffee maker you use can greatly influence the taste and texture of your coffee. A French Press is easy to use, cheap to buy, and brews a thick, bold cup of coffee with a grainy texture. If you prefer your coffee very smooth and balanced then pour-over or drip coffee is best for you. If you like your coffee ultra dark, concentrated, and packed with flavor then espresso may be just the ticket.
One brew method that’s often overlooked is cold brew coffee. This is where ground coffee is left to soak in cold water for 12 hours or more to gradually extract the sweet and subtle flavor notes. It brews coffee that’s low in acidity and sweet in flavor so perfect for anyone that’s trying to get used to the taste of coffee without any additions. You can enjoy cold brew over ice or warm it up and drink it hot.
How do Beginners drink black coffee?
People often start drinking black coffee by first ensuring it’s not too strong when you set out to brew it. You can always top it up with a splash of hot water if the flavor is too intense. Gradually reduce the amount of milk you add and decrease any sugar or sweeteners until your coffee evolves into a simple good coffee that’s lacking any other ingredients.
How do you make black coffee taste better?
You can always add a touch of sweetener to black coffee if you find the flavor too much, to begin with. Usually, the reason the coffee doesn’t taste good is down to a poor choice of coffee beans or a brewing error when making the coffee. Make sure you understand your coffee maker to ensure you get the most out of those beans.
Is it good to drink straight black coffee?
The benefit of black coffee is there are no added calories from milk or sugar so it’s a great way to lose weight whilst still enjoying a tasty hot beverage. You get to enjoy a full array of delicious flavors in their full intensity and the coffee aroma is strongest when nothing else has been added.
How much coffee should you drink at a time?
If you drink cup after cup of coffee it’s worth considering the caffeine levels you’re taking in. It’s recommended to not exceed more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day so this equates to around 4-5 cups of black coffee.
What is the best way to make black coffee?
The best brew method for making black coffee ultimately comes down to how you enjoy your coffee most. Drip coffee is a firm favorite for most and is a good starting point but if you like a bold cup with more texture then a french press can be a good option. It’s best to try a few different brew methods then you can get an idea of which one works best for you.
There’s no secret trick to drinking your coffee black. Just gradually reduce the milk and ease away from the sugar and before you know it you’ll be sipping black coffee like the sophisticated person you always wanted to be. Black coffee is wonderful stuff. It’s easy to make, you only need coffee and water and you never have to worry about the milk going off! In the end, if you just can’t get on board with coffee in its purest form then don’t worry. We’re all individuals with different tastes and a splash of milk is fine too.
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