Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If I Could Only Make a Decent Cup of Coffee!

I've told this story countless times but never here in the blogosphere. For most of my adult life, I never enjoyed coffee. I much preferred tea to coffee any day. My obsession with tea began around the age of thirteen or so during a family holiday to Britain. I realized that tea was so much more than a drink, it was an occasion. Tea always seemed so civilized, even when gulping down a quick mug and a biscuit. 

Years later while living in Chicago, I would invite one of my neighbors round for tea and to catch up on the goings on in our neighborhood. It was the perfect way to put my neighbor at ease; no fuss, not much work to boil a kettle of water and it usually led to a long conversation about politics and people during which time where we consumed seemingly gallons of tea. After an hour or so my poor neighbor would be twitching from either the volume of liquid, or maybe just the caffeine rush from the super-strong loose English tea I would brew. Point being, sitting down for tea was very conducive to socializing for me.

It may be a slight exaggeration but about once a year I would try to drink a cup of coffee to remind myself how much I disliked it. For years I would have my ceremonial "one cup of coffee" and swear off the stuff for another year. Suffice to say, tea drinking remained part of my daily routines for over 25 years. Until that is, just a few years ago when I turned forty.

I don't know how and I don't know why but literally on the day of my 40th birthday, I woke up and made a cup of coffee. It was strange, but I just had the taste for it. The next day I went to the local Starbucks in Palm Springs and ordered a medium cup of coffee. At the time I wasn't up to speed on all the Starbucks jargon of tall, grande or venti. Soon I began to acquire the taste...and craving for my daily cup of coffee. For some reason, I could never make a decent cup of coffee at home. I wondered why. I tried multiple brands of beans, whole and ground. At one point I thought I might have been going too fancy so I tried Folgers (after all, I thought, it is mountain grown). That was gross, so gave away the rest of the can to someone. I continued on for several years making drip coffee in an adequate coffee machine. Then during one of my trips to Europe I tried the type of coffee they make, and realized I enjoyed that style as well. 
Recently we bought one of those Swiss Jura coffee makers, and BINGO I finally learned how to make a decent cup of coffee! These days, making decent coffee is ever-so-easy, and enjoyable too. The Jura can make regular coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and froth milk too. So at long last I can satisfy my (relatively) new found appreciation for decent coffee and not have to leave the house to run to Starbucks. 

Tea will always be my favorite beverage but coffee is the fuel that gets my body's engine going in the morning. I'm not really sure of the point of this post today, but if you are in Palm Springs visiting, and want a good cup of coffee, I do recommend the locally owned Koffi shops which have delicious coffee for sure.


lime said...

i'm all about tea and cocoa. i have never acquired a taste for coffee though i do think it smells wonderful while brewing. it's just that no matter what you put in it all i can taste is bitterness. in the office where i work a patient used to own a coffee shop and one day he brought in some sort of coffee frappes for everyone. it was a kind gesture so i accepted a vanilla one reasoning it would be the mildest coffee flavor since it was so pale. nope, nothing but bitter in spite of all the sugar and milk and vanilla. i guess i am weird. i've only been able to down two full cups on coffee in my life. one was when i was freezing cold and it was the only hot thing available. the other was served to me by a very impoverished family in bolivia and i was not about to be so rude as to decline their gracious hospitality.

Judy (kenju) said...

Try this: buy some caffe Verona from Starbucks, and grind it and brew it at home. I love that one - it is my favorite. But I don't buy it already brewed in the shop, because they make it too strong for me.

Cheryl said...

How interesting that your taste for coffee changed so suddenly! Your machine looks like the real thing...very European. I noticed your British cup, of course. Enjoy!

Cheryl said...

How interesting that your taste for coffee changed so suddenly! Your machine looks like the real thing...very European. I noticed your British cup, of course. Enjoy!


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