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Gourmand Gruenberg: Average Joe’s guide to the cup of joe

Every single field has people who appreciate its core elements to the extreme. Collectors become hoarders, amateur writers become newspaper columnists and people who eat narrow in on what they like to begin the route of the snob. Today, I’d like to turn attention away from the luscious world of wine and turn to coffee.

Wine and coffee share very similar origin stories. They both evolved as a drink with a function. Wine’s function was to cleanse the palate and elevate the experience of dining. Coffee, on the other hand, stimulates us. It’s no shocker that something like that is the go-to drink of many in the morning.

Aside from the stimulation that drives us into a forced sense of attentiveness, it has taste. Its taste is frankly diverse. Many people approach tasting coffee to a similar process to tasting wine. Starbucks’ Australian website outlines four steps to approach tasting coffee. Step one is to note its smell. Describe its aroma in your head or to your associate before you drink it. Secondly, sip the coffee. Cover your mouth and note how you experience it. Third step, note where on the tongue the coffee resonates, and note its weight on your tongue. Step four, as always, write down a description.

Obviously, this is the same approach any food snob takes to their food or drink. That further solidifies coffee as an art in itself and that it should be approached as such. This inspired me to experiment pairing a coffee with one of my breakfast dishes to see what would happen. 

I cooked an omelet for myself with the usual suspects for ingredients: caramelized onions, garlic, melted sharp cheddar, freshly ground pepper, kosher salt and eggs furiously beaten until frothy. The ideal omelet, to me, is one that is light and fluffy, allowing the other players to take the stage in the mouth. I tried to find a lighter coffee to go with it, as to not overpower the dish. What I chose was a very sweet Greek coffee called Venizelos. This is a coffee I got at the Dayton Greek Festival, and I reserve it for special occasions.

My suspicions paid off major dividends. The pair was a lovely culinary encounter and still brought me surprises. The sweet aftertaste of the coffee with the crunchy texture of the caramelized onions expanded in the mouth like a new frontier.

If there is a food you like, a taste that makes you feel like yourself, get a notebook. By learning about the taste and what goes into it, you learn about yourself and get the ability to share it with those you care about.

Noah Gruenberg is a junior studying music composition at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Noah? Email him at

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