I came to love coffee much the same way I came to appreciate food – from the serving end. Work at Starbuck’s long enough, learn many people can’t pronounce latte to save their lives, much less the difference between that and a cappuccino.
Now, by coincidence, one of my best friends, Martha, owns a coffee shop. She and I happened to work at that Starbuck’s together years ago, tamped our first espressos on the same machine; I can remember outlining drink recipes with her on a dry-erase board; today, she can smell a coffee bean and tell you whether it’s Guatemalan or Ethiopian, and knows why some diners rush to refill your cup (that stuff only tastes good hot, and probably even better when masked by the taste of pie).
So by association, I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob. Another friend of Martha’s and mine concurs: she went to Manhattan not long ago and admitted the coffee there “tasted like ass.” Oh my, was all I said.
There was a time I drank so much of the stuff my dentist thought I was a chain smoker. She actually recommended chemical bleaching. A simple cleaning proved I was, in fact, not a smoker – just a very, very awake college student.
Then part of me wonders: do I truly love coffee, or am I just ensconced in its myth, its romance, its lovely pairing with cheesecake? The smell of fresh ground beans does send me swooning. Then of course, there’s the I like my coffee hot and black – like my men! quip, of which I never seem to tire. (Note: that also works with sweet and hot, rich and black, or any combination thereof, etc.)
Until I can learn to do without my regular cup – every morning or so, or at least on weekend brunch – I may never be able to truly answer that.
Quick Coffee Trivia (as per Martha and memories from working for The Big Green Empire):
Interesting to Note as I End this Post:
So that is the extent of my culinary contributions this week: butter and coffee. Just the simple stuff. Maybe next week I’ll do a post on boiling water.