Sphincter in the Coffee Pot

A coworker of mine has made the tactical mistake of bringing in a $400+ espresso machine and very expensive burr grinder. Worse, he is letting anyone who wants to try their hand at making espresso.

The temptation proved too much for me to resist. I now grind and brew a double shot of espresso every morning; it is thick as motor oil and twice as bitter, but it has enough caffeine to kill a small animal, hence my new espresso addiction.

Of course, I purchased a one pound bag of coffee beans (nearly $4.78 per pound), which sent my coworkers into fits of laugher. They then tried to school me as to why their espresso roasts, and bean blends, are worth every penny that they paid ($12+ per pound).

I’m not very convinced.

I learned that the difference between bad coffee and good coffee can be relatively minor, which can be fixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon in the coffee grounds before brewing. A sprinkle of salt can take out some of the bitterness it the coffee is bitter. Chicory, or egg shells have the same effect I’ve been told.

I am shown a white Starbucks back labeled Espresso Roast. I grab the bag and notice that it is already ground. I look inside and its ground too course for espresso – its ground for drip coffee.

This means it is relatively useless. It can’t be used in the espresso machine, and the it can’t be used in the single-serving Kurig gourmet coffee machine.

Never one to waste any coffee, I track down the owner who gives me the expensive bag of coffee. I walk to the other break room (with an industrial coffee maker), and pour in the grounds. After an anxious wait, I poured myself a full cup of “Espresso Roast.”

Yuck. It tasted like ass (disclaimer: I have never actually tasted ass, but I imagine it would taste very bad). It was hands down the worst cup of coffee I have ever tasted.

So I retreat back to the safety of my cubicle looking for something to cover up the taste in my mouth, completely oblivious to the fact that I have left a full pot of rancid ass-tasting coffee smoldering on the coffee pot warmer.

It wasn’t until I overheard about how terrible the company provided coffee was, that I remembered my failed experiment. Oh well.

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