Today I went with the most middle of the bell curve choice possible, a medium black coffee from McDonalds.
This tasted more like my memories of coffee through the years. Bitter, dark and generally dreadful. I don't know how people crave this stuff. I added a teaspoon of sugar after a few gulps and it only made things worse. This is going to be a difficult cup to finish.
Historical reviews when coffee first arrived in Europe mirror mine. From the book Wonderland:
"A seventeenth-century drinker described the taste of coffee as a 'syrup of soot and the essence of old shoes'"