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The ABCs of Coffee

The Search for a Great Cup of Coffee Must Consider the Type of Bean, The Country of Origin and the Roast

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For purists who think that flavorings are only for those who drink coffee in paper cups with Greek designs, history shows that seasonings--from cardamom to black pepper to ground nuts--have been put into coffee since the earliest days.
Today, flavorings are put in just after the beans have been roasted and cooled. David Dallis is fairly blasé about flavorings, explaining, "we don't want people to think we're grinding up vanilla beans with the coffee beans. It's just chemicals."
Since many flavored coffees are made with less-than-top-quality beans, a better alternative is to buy a first-rate coffee, then flavor it yourself with vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks. After all, it's not like sticking a lemon peel in a glass of Château Pétrus.
Sam Gugino writes about food and wine from New York.
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