Saturday, 9 September 2006

It is so wonderful to have a great cup of coffee. The fullness of the flavour, just the hint of bitter dark oil.
It is funny how we can get so used to our coffee that we can't really taste it.
30 years ago, my mother-in-law drank instant coffee, Maxwell House. There was always a welcome to her table, the kettle put on to boil and the offer of tea or coffee. I chose tea. Can't even take a sip of instant coffee. I do however really enjoy tea, but I digress, the topic here is coffee, or perhaps it is about just rewards.
Growing up with Oma, Kaffe und Kuchen were served at 3 o'clock. The coffee was made by pouring hot water into a pink ceramic Melitta Cone, lined with paper and filled with ground coffee that sat atop a coffee pot. Slowly the water that Tante poured in dripped through these grounds. The aroma was so rich, the coffee deep and dark. Served with milk and just a touch of sugar.
These were the days of percolator pots on the stove. My mom used a percolator, a metal basket, a stem. As the water heated towards boiling it would rise up the stem, bubble aginst the little glass knob in the centre of the lid and then drip down over the grounds that had been scooped into the metal filter basket. No paper. When the grounds were cooled you tapped them out into the waste bag.
So anyway, instant coffee just did not seem like it could really be coffee. Coffee involves care, brewing and grounds.
So, the Mr Coffee revolution took hold.
Throughout the 70's it was the new kitchen appliance to have. Paper filters to toss the grounds easily away, automatic timers so you could fill the coffeemaker with water and coffee, then wake to the aroma of freshly made coffee wafting from the kitchen- all ready for you to simply pour and enjoy.
This coffee maker tasted so much like the coffee that you had when you were out at a restaurant or donut shop.
So, we convinced Mum (dear Mother in law) that was what she should have. Instead of the brown water she called coffee. I promised that if she brewed real coffee I would drink with her, and so I did.

Mum loved her coffee now. She teased me that I ruined her. She used to be happy with the instant coffee till I made her drink this stuff. She would tell me that it was all my fault...
I still missed that slow pour and rich aroma of the Melitta. That was my first choice, and what I would make for myself at home.
.... Fast forward through the years. Coffee shops proliferate. StarBucks, roasting cafe's, bistros... The after dinner espresso has become more a day to day treat, Latte, Cappucinno, mmmmm
A fine frothy sprinkled with cinnamon...the coffee so aromatic, dark and rich.
Every cup is a spa break for me.
Mum is gone now, so many fewer coffee breaks, no more of our long talks over a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
As my honey wrapped up Mum's estate stuff he chose to gift me with a sum of $ in Mum's name, in memory of what a wonderful friendship we had together over those 30 years.
I knew that would be the best opportunity to indulge my coffee loving little heart. After months of inquiries and surveys of friends I decided to buy myself an Espresso Machine. If I was going to want a coffee worth enjoying I was going to have to go big. So , Miss Silvia entered my life.
She has ruined me for Timmies, for anyone else's coffee. I think about having a nice cup of coffee and I can only think of her.
The process, grinding my beans freshly, the measuring, the tamp. That ever hopeful tamp, enough so the water will slowly permeate the fine gounds, not so light that it flows like a sieve.
The wait as the boiler light goes off, the water is pushed through my handle, watching the slow stream fill my little cup, dark, thick, and then it changes colour--- now lighter and lighter to leave a burnished foam atop my brew.
Another few seconds.....turn on the steamer, open the frother. Set it into the milk pitcher--watching, waiting for the velvety froth to be spooned atop my little cup... There, now a sprinkle of cinnamon for a hint of sweet heat and ahhhh. So now Mum has ruined me. It is all her fault. I used to be happy with the dripped coffee.
And I smile every time....
My soul is fed with needle and thread, my body with chocolate

1 comment :

  1. My parents still drink instant coffee - Taster's Choice, UGH! Whenever I visit them I always have to fresh ground coffee.

    We have our coffee delivered from Boca Java in Florida. They roast the beans to order and have a multitude of roasted blends. I grind the beans every morning and love the smell of fresh coffee.

    I think I might to make myself a cup now, even though it's dinner time.

    PS - I won't mention the "F" word, but it's happening here in New Hanpshire too.


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