Double French Roast
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Today was a shopping day. Most of the time, to save gas, my wife makes a shopping run after work on Friday. But we needed some things in town so we made it a Saturday outing of sorts. Not a whole lot of excitement in the trip.
While we were in Winco in Chico, California perusing the bulk bins, we passed by the roasted-coffee dispensers. While the selection is about as large as you are likely to find in terms of roast levels and origins, I never seriously consider doing any more than passing by and making fun. They did have a good selection of lighter roasted coffee, but that's not at all quality material for humor. At the end of the row or beginning depending on whether you are a from a left-to-right or right-to-left culture, I found a bin filled with an unidentified coffee other than stating that it was a blend, and identifying its roast level.
"Double French Roast" was what it said on the label, and I can say that it was filled with the blackest beans I can ever remember seeing other than the batch of Yemen from some time back that I had accidentally ignited while home roasting. Could they have actually meant to do that? Well, I had to find out.
Risking the consequence of being arrested for shoplifting, I took one single bean from the bin's dispenser. I broke the bean up and rubbed it into pieces in the palm of my hand and sampled the aroma. The only aroma, and I do mean the singular, overwhelming, lonely, smell was that of burnt. You know those beans that get stuck in your home roaster and end up getting roasted twice? The ones that come out pure black? That burnt smell? No aroma to give the slightest hint that this was once, a time long ago, from a farm far, far away, coffee. Nothing but burnt. My wife described it as, "Finding coffee after a house fire. Burnt. Charcoal. There was nothing left."
People drink that? I do not know where to start commenting on how that could possibly, on any level, be an enjoyable experience. I have no words for those people. Tim Lehrer once commented that he knew a cook who had his taste buds shot off in the war. Maybe that guy buys it.