Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Eight Reasons Coffee Might be the Boss of You

I am a coffee drinker. I try not to go overboard, but it is a daily thing for me. Though at least once a year for anywhere between six to 12 weeks I go cold turkey, just to show myself who’s boss. The answer is me. I am the boss of the dark lord in my groovy thermal ceramic mug.

For the remaining 40-46 weeks per year, coffee is assumed. Standard. A sine qua non to the day starting on a good note. Which is why the multiple disruptions in our household coffee routine are vexing. Disruptions? Allow me to enumerate:

1. I switched from Peet’s to Metropolis. My choice, but one that required a significant commitment as Metropolis is, like, eight miles north in a neighborhood in which I have no other business. I was looking to find a local roaster and was thrilled when I did.

2. I switched to a French press. Again, I brought this on myself. I became a quick convert, bringing the thermal press on camping trips over the summer and fall.

3. My coffee grinder broke. By “my” I mean Kate’s. I don’t know why I was in possession of her coffee grinder, but I assumed squatter’s rights at least a decade ago. After the top broke, I jerry-rigged it with a toothpick for longer than I care to admit. Last month I bought a nice burr grinder and began the process of experimenting with different grinds.

4. I stopped using an airtight glass storage jar for my coffee beans, following the instructions on the Metropolis bag. The airtight contraption did seem to suffocate them a bit, and a bit of breathing improved the quality of the oldest beans (we go through a pound every ten days or so).

5. My new grinder made my favorite blend, Metropolis’ Mocha Java, taste COMPLETELY different, and not in a good way. I went back to my old standbys at Peet’s: Major Dickason’s and Arabian Mocha Java. Mmmm.

6. My husband became disenchanted with the French press (he took umbrage with the grit in his mug) and recalled the old drip machine from storage.

7. I missed Metropolis and crawled back only to discover they had discontinued Mocha Java. Gasp! Now brewing Spice Island which, I’m happy to report, I like.

8. Just when I thought I had my equipment and blends figured out, Jerry Baldwin (of Starbucks and Peet’s fame) tells me I’ve got storage all wrong.

I’ll spend the next month or so seeing if I like his suggestions. Perhaps I also need to remind myself who’s the boss.

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