January 1st, 7 am, gate D24 at Washington Dulles International airport. After a cancelled flight and New Year's Eve in a Holiday Inn, I am back at the airport to continue my trip home. At the empty airport, It feels like a land of castaways, a unique atmosphere where everyone seems to be stranded over New Year's like me. I decided to get a coffee and, as I started typing this, just sat down at my gate with a cup of Starbuck's medium roast house blend: Pike Place.
This year I want to reach my goals and stop consuming content, so I haven't opened any news app, social media platform or blog yet, because I am convinced that this will help me boost productivity. However, I have to admit that I am bored right now. I have two hours before my flight's departure and nothing to do - or do I? I could use this free time to start one of the many projects that only exist in my head, and since I am sitting here with a cup from the most famous chain in the world, it is the perfect moment to start:
I want to rank all the black drip coffees I am drinking, so I will seize the moment and start right now.
I was held back by the thought of not knowing enough about coffee because while I like drinking and making it (I once worked as a barista), I cannot taste any particular flavours. I only know whether I like it or not (and I like most of them - because it is coffee). Working in a small coffee shop convinced me that anyone tasting marshmallow or grapefruit in a coffee has lost his mind, and that is why my list will be based purely on one criterium: how much did I enjoy this coffee at that particular time.
This is a 100% biased ranking that depends on my mood and the setup in which I drank the coffee.
The goal is to form one list that ranks the drip coffees in order of my preference and acts as a diary of the times I sat down and enjoyed a coffee.
First positive: it doesn't burn my mouth after taking the first sip. The temperature is, like the rest of the coffee, quite pleasant. It's inoffensive and doesn't try to implement any fancy, intense flavours, yet has enough character barely not to call it bland. It is smooth, easy to drink, and I could finish the whole cup without getting tired of it. It is not my favourite taste, but I guess this is Starbucks' try of creating a coffee for many people. When it cooled off, though, there was a bitter tingle on the side of my tongue, and I started enjoying it less.
In the end, this is a nice, straightforward cup of coffee I wouldn't mind someone offering me. After a very special turn of the year, I enjoyed sitting at the gate and will never forget this moment.
- Starbucks Pike Place 6/10