I am by no means a "coffee lover", in fact I am kinda picky about the coffee that I drink. Before the days of tea I would drink just any old coffee loaded with creamer and sugar, but anymore my taste buds revolt when they taste bad coffee. Overall I still would rather drink a glass of tea rather than a cup of joe, but there are times when only coffee will do. Good coffee. So what is good coffee?
1. The darker the roast the richer the flavor. And, no, richer does not mean bitter. Good dark coffee has a strong smooth flavor with little aftertaste. This one point changed me from not drinking coffee at all. If you don't know what kind of coffee to get, especially if some sort of milk is getting added, dark is better than light. Light coffee is acidic and after awhile it seems to make my throat hurt.
2. Burnt coffee does not mean good coffee. I don't know why Starbucks does it but they seem to think that they should burn their dark roast coffee. I have heard that people in the biz. call Starbucks: Charbucks, and it is no wonder. Their dark roast taste like charcoal. When I complain about the burning of the coffee to Starbucks lovers they say that I should just get a lighter roast. No... Thank you. (See #1)
3. When making coffee at home error on the side of too much grounds instead of too few grounds. If you use too few grounds the bitter taste will leach out during the brewing process, and that is not a good thing to have in your coffee. (Also grind your own coffee if you can. Store the whole beans in an airtight non transparent container. And don't store the coffee beans in the fridge or freezer.)
4. Find a local roaster. I never realized how much better freshly roasted coffee is until my favorite local coffee place, Radina's, started to roast their own coffee. It puts to shame the coffee that is shipped in to other places. If you can't find a local roaster go with a coffee place that knows alot about what coffee they get in. You don't need to know everything about the coffee that you are drinking, but it is good if they do.
Well that is all the helpful hints that I have for coffee. Like I said I am still more of a tea person, but since I have discovered the above four points I have found coffee to be much more enjoyable. Actually, I am having a mug of coffee right this moment.