This was a goodie. The Coffee Skill Australians Think They Know But Really Don’t.
When it comes to coffee, beans matter. But if you’re drinking anything with milk in it, generally the flavour of the beans is muted to the point of being non-existent. I actually feel the same way about espresso though, such as a long or short black, as putting beans through such high pressure does indeed alter the taste. Mizudashi, where the beans are extracted with tepid water, is probably the only way to avoid unwanted tastes through brewing, but Nel drip is also a good option as it avoids the taste of paper you sometimes get with paper drip, while maintaining the smoothness.
In saying that though, some people, myself included, enjoy the taste and texture of the crema. I see it more as a horses for causes kind of thing. When I’m in Japan, I tend to make myself a pour-over using Nel drip, or in summer I make Mizudashi. In NZ, I generally go for the standard Flat White, or a Mochaccino. In one case, the beans really do make the difference, in the other, it’s usually the way the milk and coffee mix.
What this means though, generally, is that if you’re going to Japan, it’s much harder to find a good coffee if you’re used to espresso. On the other hand, those going from Japan to NZ generally don’t complain much at the cafes there. I don’t know, maybe we shouldn’t be so fussy.
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