Time: 15:35
Topic: Covid-19, coffee, tea

Well, rather expectedly, I did get Covid. I'm on day three of showing symptoms right now so there's a lot of room for it to get worse before it gets better. For now though, it feels like strep throat, possibly a bit worse. Unless I'm actively drinking or eating something hot or eating a cough drop, I feel like my throat is trying to shred itself to pieces. And, honestly? I can live with that. I've been resting a lot because any time I get up my heartrate goes kind of crazy. But the fatigue and pain has been not all that different from what I experience on the regular so that hasn't been a bother at all.

On a more positive note, the copious amount of warm drinks I've been consuming is as good an excuse as any to talk about coffee and tea! I am very passionate about all things food and drink. I don't really consider myself a foodie or a coffee snob, but I don't think it'd necessarily be wrong to call me one either. Food is one of the things that make daily life worth living. For me, a delicious meal or coffee often takes priority over hobbies and even fashion.

I wasn't really into coffee when I was in middle school. My mom likes her coffee "strong" with strong meaning a dark roast overextracted to the point of bitterness. All the more power to her for that, honestly. I can respect wanting your tastebuds to get punched by impossibly dark liquids. Still, it's not to my taste. I didn't really know anything about coffee or how to prepare it so I avoided it. In high school I started getting into Starbucks, less for the coffee and more for the frappucinos. What finally made me branch out was local specialty coffee shops.

The thing about coffee is there's such a variety of ways you can prepare it and every little detail can end up changing the flavor. If you're like me and you don't like bitterness, try looking at local coffee places. Learn to make a pourover or buy a French press. With those you can much more closely control the extraction process and get the best flavors. Learn how to do cup tastings so you can find the flavors that suit you best. Generally for pourovers I like a medium roast with tasting notes of chocolate, caramel, and sometimes berries. In other words, lots of warm flavors and right in the middle where you've got a little bit of acidity and the warmth of the roast without going into bitterness. For cafe orders, I usually get a latte first then if I like the general flavor profile they're going for I get an espresso. That may seem contradictory with all the talk of not liking bitterness. However, I think that's kind of the amazing thing about coffee. Even espresso, despite being something known for its bitterness, can still end up quite smooth and mellow depending on a ton of factors. If you find a cafe you like, or miraculously have the money to make it at home, it's a very unique and amazing taste experience.

As for tea, it's not something I know nearly as well as coffee. I haven't done much exploring or research. However, I do still have some preferences. For boba tea, taro reigns supreme above all other flavors. For tea I make at home, most of the time I'm making a matcha latte. I used to only really like it with sugar but I've come to like it without recently. I've been pushing myself away from drinking sugar in my coffee or tea. For loose leaf tea, I prefer a light, floral oolong, closer to green tea in terms of production methods. I've tried a lot of black tea but none of it has ever been to my taste. I also tried sencha after my sister gave me some for Christmas one year. I like it on its own merits but it's not something I'd drink regularly as it's not the usual flavor profile I go for. Finally, there's a chai latte which is a special occasion thing because it's both pretty sugary and takes a lot of spices (I always make a big batch) but is truly my favorite tea to make at home.