In praise of coffee

Posted: May 16, 2008 in Uncategorized

A little historical titbit set the direction of this article. Apparently, in fifteenth century Turkey it was possible for a woman to divorce her husband if he failed to bring home the coffee supplies. I had visions of a scene something like the following.

“Hello luv. Did you get that jar of Nescafé on the way home?”

“Ah well the thing is, you see, it was Achmed’s birthday, and then there was this darts match down at the pub-“

“You forgot the coffee again, didn’t you! Right – that’s it. I’m off home to mum’s you son of mange-ridden camel.”

I’m sure that the coffee drinkers out there could relate to that little scene. We just don’t like our coffee – we need it. We’re just not the same without our brown liquid morning heart-starters. Of course we prefer the proper brewed coffee. Once you become addicted to the freshly ground stuff, all instant coffee frankly tastes like powered donkey dung. Or at least what I imagine donkey dung ‘coffee’ would taste like.

Consider for a moment what goes into that good cup of coffee. The beans grow on the tree, absorbing the sunlight, swelling into ripeness. The beans are lovingly picked (OK – that’s an overstatement as anyone who has done any sort of fruit picking job will gladly tell you). The harvested beans are roasted, perhaps prepared with the help of some other ingredients such as chocolate or a dash of cinnamon and packaged for our delight.

We take our newly purchased beans home, open the pack with trembling fingers and pour some into the coffee grinder. A quick whirrrrr and then take the top off of the grinder – mmmm smell that wonderful aroma of freshly ground beans.

Carefully pour the ground beans into the coffee maker and add the water. A fresh filter paper makes it even better. Plungers are fine, but they are simply not as good as having hot water dripping down over the coffee, drawing out the wonderful flavours and colours as it passes down into the coffee pot.

An even more wonderful aroma now fills the air as the coffee brews. Take a breath – draw it deep down into the lungs. Oh yeah!

Pour out a mug full of the dark-brown, almost black liquid. See the fine tendrils of steam wafting upwards.

Hold on just a mo…I’ll be right back…sorry but I just had to get the coffee maker going for a refill. Now where was I…

Slowly pour in a little milk. See how it merges with the coffee, briefly making two-toned patterns of light and dark. Stir in a little sugar and there – we’re almost ready to drink.

Whoops – coffee’s ready…be right back…ahhhh that’s better.

Lift the coffee mug up to your nose. Inhale. Oh damn that smells good, doesn’t it. Take a sip. Roll it around in your mouth, letting your taste buds explode in a frenzy of delight. Swallow. Feel it slide down your throat into your stomach, producing a lovely warm feeling. All is now right with the world. Excuse me while I have another slurp.

I better shut up now before Mrs Drivel starts getting ideas about what to do next time I forget to bring the coffee beans home.

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