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My Song to the Coffee Bean (1 Viewer)

P

Prince Incubus

My Song to the Bean. Or, why do I like coffee.

It’s hard to be good at coffee. Everything, I feel, one can be better and better at. There’s always a better and better technique for doing anything. Coffee is something that tastes better when one does it more properly. There’s a built-in evolution.
I’m also a gadget person. I like that one can have a vast array of better and better tools with which to make coffee. Just Google ‘coffee’, and you’ll find stores filled floor to ceiling with all the stuff you can use to make the perfect cup of coffee. I possess 4 machines devoted to automatically making coffee. I have several dozen coffee mugs, I have at least that many spoons, one specialty golden spoon used to cool coffee to an appropriate drinking temperature. I purchased a gold lined permanent coffee filter. I purchased a Thermos carafe to keep the coffee at optimum temperature.
I like that one has to make coffee, with exception to instant coffee which doesn’t merit mention here. I like that one needs to craft it. To take it from one unusable form to one that has use. One has to physically touch the beans. I always make a mess of my kitchen when I make coffee. A lot of discarded coffee dust winds up on my pants. A bunch of dust winds up on my counter. There’s a lot of physical contact when it comes to coffee, and humans aren’t the only things that touch coffee.
The beans need certain environmental factors like: humidity, altitude, soil nutrition requirements, heat, water, sunlight, human contact. I like that so many factors need to come together to make the perfect cup. In one instance, an endangered Sivit cat walks among the coffee plants, eating only the best coffee “cherries” and once they’ve fermented in his belly, they are eliminated. People then pick through his droppings and get the beans which are left, which have fermented just the right length of time.
I like the human element. I am definitely a humanist. It takes a human being to physically touch the beans to get them to grow properly. It takes a human being to harvest the good ones, leave the undeveloped ones alone, a human being to gather them together, drive the truck to the airport, one to fly the green beans to the roaster in the states. Takes a human being to roast them properly, one to bag them, drive them to the store, one to grind them and make the coffee. All of these people have a vested interest in making their coffee taste better, so they’re constantly evolving to refine their tecniques.
One has to prepare the way for coffee, to be gentle with it, to be polite to it. One needs to preheat anything in which the coffee goes. One has to take care not to scald the beans along any part of this process. One can’t pulverize the beans to dust. One should protect the beans from heat, direct sunlight, moisture, and preferably oxygen. In the way that smoking calms a smoker, one can’t really make good coffee in anything but a calm, clear, pleasant frame of mind.
One can specialize in coffee making. You can prefer a region where coffee beans grow, one can prefer one of a dozen methods for making coffee, one can prefer a level of sediment in your coffee, one can prefer any number of extra things in ones coffee, sugar, crème, honey and the like. One can prefer the strength of coffee, from brown water, to coffee thick enough to growl back at you. This is all not to mention preferring certain coffee mugs, and other decorative impliments. You can prefer any number of kinds of coffee: espresso, Americano, coffee black, Cappuchino, latte. Any number of roasting styles, italian, french, etc. Some people go so far as to roast their own beans, preferring to by the beans at the pre-roasted stage, called ‘green’.
One can decide one’s own level of involvement in the coffee process. Depending on your level of coffee infatuation, or the time you have to dedicate to coffee. You can just grab the instant little discs of coffee-shaped impliments and have something most people would agree is, at least kind – of, coffee in a few minutes. Or the process can take hours, a Persian coffee ritual can take as long as a Japanese tea ceremony. One has a group of friends over, and the beans are roasted over an open fire in the kitchen. Then a bean is offered to everyone present, to chew and contemplate while they talk and wait for the coffee to be made. Once the beans are roasted, the beans are ground in a huge mortis and pestle device that’s usually loud enough to disturb the neighbors. Then over the same open flame, near boiling water is poured over the freshly pulverized grounds, and the coffee is served.
Coffee is a social and active drink. People come together to have coffee. People come together to have coffee and think, talk, do intellectual things. Coffeehouses are places where people talk, think. They were once called ‘penny-universities’ because one could rub elbows with intellectuals and have conversations on any number of subjects, all for the price of a cup of coffee. It’s a much more intellectual experience than alcohol, which is much more instinctual, being a reducer to your inhibitions and a depressant.
Caffine is my particular drug of choice, being a stimulant. I was diagnosed with ADHD my junior year of high school, and caffine helps me focus, as most stimulants do to most people, and it also helps calm me down, which it doesn’t do to most people.
I’m also a literature buff. There’s an extraordinary link between coffee and the printed word. How many Americans sit down to the morning paper with that cup of joe at hand. I imagine all of my favorite writers sitting at their desks, pecking away at their computers, the white screens reflecting off their little dark square glasses, with a huge thermos of strong, black coffee. At least, that’s the way I look now as I write this.
I hope you’ve learned how to appreciate the many levels of enjoyment of coffee. So let’s hear it for the bean!
 

irishidid

Senior Member
Simply marvelous. I've always said central air conditioning was created so coffee drinkers could enjoy their brew year round.
It made the cup of coffee I'm drinking so much more delightful.
 

BillDugan

Senior Member
From one who does not
To the many ones that do

Now, that Cat Shit Coffee - that sounds like something one might enjoy sipping and slurping while conjuring images of the gathering process. One just might enjoy some sort of perverse personal pleasure in the finger foray, foraging for that perfect bean.

And, if I may - if coffee is for intellectuals and alcohol is a depressant that reduces our inhibitions, then please introduce me to the woman who enjoys Irish Coffee, she might be a laid back, senisible slut.

Bill Dugan
 

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