Wednesday, September 17, 2014

on black blood of the earth

No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than coffee
--Azrael (paraphrased)

I love coffee.  I love the way it smells.  I love the way you can sense the terroir in each batch. I love the way it tastes.  I love the way it feels when the coffee buzz is just at that perfect point.

I am serious about my coffee.  I buy my beans from a local coffeehouse which roasts its own.  I buy them whole bean, of course.  I grind them myself in a Hario burr hand-crank grinder. I brew in a French Press.  I have a wonderful thermos to keep it perfect for ages.

I love the process.  Preheating the thermos, grinding the beans, stirring the mixture before they steep, slowly pressing down on the plunger...all of this relaxes me.  I'm not normally one for sentimental thoughts and acts, but I do enjoy the ritual of coffee at a level only matched by the ritual of a good cigar or a good martini.

I love my coffee black.  I understand intellectually that some people prefer with cream, sugar, or both...or even whiskey or Irish cream...but I just can't bring myself to accept such things.  If their coffee isn't good enough on its own, they should just get a different variety.  That they don't is confounding.

Let's not even talk of instants or those one cup brewers.

If there's one thing I don't love, it's that my body doesn't do as well with caffeine as I would like.  I cannot drink coffee every day.  If I have one micron more than the French Press can provide, I am destined for the shakes and a crash.  I know this, so I force myself to exercise control...but still, I don't really wanna.

This semester, I don't teach until 10, so I can enjoy the coffee rather than relying on it as I would for an 8am class.  However, this does mean that my coffee runs out about 45 minutes into the class.  When my coffee runs out, it always makes me a little sad.  Knowing that I physically shouldn't have more coffee anyway doesn't help.  And now I have to hide that minor depression so that it doesn't affect my teaching. I cannot, in other words, take it out on the students.

Coffee.  She's a harsh mistress.

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