I grew up with the smell of Folgers or Maxwell House brewing in a stove top percolator. My parents liked their coffee dark with milk and plenty of sugar. The sugar was a necessity to balance the yucky taste of the store shelf brands of the 70’s. I must have been six when I took my first sip of their morning joe. I spit it out. Next to fried liver, it was the grossest thing I had ever tasted. It wasn’t until I met my husband twenty years later that I gave coffee a second chance. That sip was good. It took a few more years of coffee drinking for me to realize I had become coffee enlightened. Are you like me? Then you know what it’s like when your friends can’t understand your appreciation of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. They think you spend too much money on fresh roasted beans and why do you grind them right before you brew?
Just as in any area of culture involving cookery, there are frauds. These upstarts are not sages, but snobs. They don’t have a love for the bean. Acidic, single origin, blend, citrusy, earthy, Arabica, Robusta, mean nothing to them. These are the insolents who meet each other at Starbucks and order coffee polluted with ingredients such as soy milk, half white mocha, vanilla, caramel drizzle, hazelnut, whipped cream, quad shots, two pumps, six pumps, ten pumps! Ugh! What about the coffee? I like Starbucks. I have a gold card which I am proud of. My order is simple:
My free refill is the dark brew of the day. I sit in the corner (if I can find a seat) with my husband, or by myself. Yes with my MacBook Air. I sip my coffee as my mind wanders off to appreciate the journey of the bean. On a lush, warm hillside my ripe red cherry beans are hand picked. They are separated, soaked, rinsed, tasted, and roasted until the caffeol emerges from the seeds. If you are as fortunate as I, you have a local roaster and can get fresh roasted coffee. Not fresh brewed. Fresh roasted. The smell of the roasting coffee beans is truly magnificent.
A sage knows the journey of the bean as an arduous, sacred one. He does not defile his coffee with superfluous additives, and most likely you will not see the sage at trendy coffee shops. No, he prefers to brew his coffee at home. He sips it in the quiet birth of the morning, grateful for the blessing of coffee.
- Buy freshly roasted beans if you can.
- Grind the beans right before you brew. Burr grinder is the bomb!
- Use good tasting non distilled water. Bad water=Bad coffee.
- Make only what you need. Coffee loses it’s magic within an hour of the brew.
- Keep your coffee maker/brewer/press clean.