NaNoTeaMo, Day 7: “Green Coffee and Me”
This post is going to be a bit heretical, but please bear with me. Yes, this is still a tea blog. And, yes, this entry will still have something to do with tea. Even if the focus is on . . .
I remember the first time I ever heard reference to green coffee. It was – I hate to admit it – on Dr. Oz. The snake oil salesman was touting the extract version’s virtues in regards to weightloss potential. I paid that little mind, but I did get to thinking: What does green coffee even taste like? Is it even a thing?
The closest I came to trying it in those initial months of pondering was at a Starbucks. They were shilling their new line of green coffee extract drinks. I bought one and thought it was . . . alright. For juice, that is. Instantly forgettable.
Sometime in 2009, I went on a coffee date with a girl. Yes, that did happen once or twice. I asked the barista if they knew anything about green coffee and where I could get some. They – and my date – gave me such a look.
Yeah, that look.
Apparently, it was a taboo subject in a “third wave” coffee city like Portland. I kept my inquiries more discreet from then on. Baristas looked mad enough already.
I figured that my next approach would be to e-mail my next quarry. And that I did. The company I first e-mailed was “Mr. Green Beans”. If anyone could answer my question, it would have to be a company with green in their name.
Never got a reply.
Why was this such an untouchable subject?! I knew it was a thing. I saw a YouTube video that said as much! Sort of . . .
Now, I was annoyed. Sure, I could easily buy my own damn green coffee beans, grind ‘em, and filter them accordingly. The problem was I’d never made a single cup of coffee in my life. That and I was lazy. I wanted someone to do it for me. Or at the very least point me in the direction of a ready-made product.
Progress in this endeavor wasn’t made for another five years.
A tea sommelier-in-training friend o’ mine – Natasha Nesic – was teaching classes for a company called Kronen Tea. One afternoon, I perused their shop list . . . and I saw it. They carried a green coffee product! Sure, it was in a tea bag, and it was blended with green tea. But who cares!? After five years, it was something.
I begged/pleaded/groveled for Natasha to acquire at least one bag for me to play with. She charmingly acquiesced to the request. In the interim, I went back to my usual, actual tea-related yarns.
Then one day, I was pinged over Twitter by Nicole “Tea For Me Please” Martin.
I grumbled in envy.
By May of this year – at World Tea Expo – Natasha came through for me. I finally had a single teabag of Kronen Green Coffee Infusion to play with.
But it didn’t stay in the bag.
I had to see what it looked like for myself. CTC-grade green tea was mixed with lighter green clumps of “something”-s. I assumed the latter were the coffee beans after a mild grind. The near-powdered pile smelled like a Mao Feng green tea that’d been paired up peanuts. In short, I didn’t mind.
For brewing, I decided to use my Maruei Takeo teapot. A wonderful accessory gifted to me by Ricardo “My Japanese Green Tea” Caicedo. The filter mesh in the pot was the perfect size for the small granules of green leaf and . . . bean parts. After placing the contents in the pot, I added boiled water and waited three minutes.
The resulting brew was sencha/radioactive green with a grassy and nutty aroma. Seriously, if grassnuts were a thing, this is what they would smell like. On taste, there was an almond-like introduction, followed by a mostly-smooth grassy middle, and a very dry finish. It tasted . . . exactly as I imagined it would. As far as weird concoctions go, I approved.
This was a good first step on this half-decade journey. Next up is to convince one of my more industrious tea friends to – maaaaaybe – experiment with green coffee on my behalf.
Um . . . or not.
You found it, the proof that Klingons are coffee drinkers (but not green coffee ones).
Bloodwine is totally coffee. Makes perfect sense.
Great article! I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if I find anything.
You don’t have to. My curiosity is pretty much sated.