When you walk into a good coffee shop, you can smell it. It’s a smell nothing like the smell of the old, sour coffee sitting in a carafe at the office. It’s the smell of dark, dark beans, cracked open, releasing complex odors of fruit and of heat. And as much as I enjoy sitting in a coffee shop reading and writing, I don’t get much time for that these days. But I can bring it home.
I love opening a new bag of beans. They have that shine to them, a shine that is lost very quickly. And when you pour those fresh beans with their volatile sheen into the grinder, they jostle and release just a bit of their aroma. That intensifies the moment the grinder blades cuts into the beans. Sometimes I use a drip coffee maker, sometimes a press, and rarely an old copper Turkish coffee pot. I think the press is my favorite. I warm it up first, and then dry it and pour in the course grounds. I pour the hot water over them, give it a stir, put on the press, and set a timer for three-and-a-half minutes. The smell in the kitchen isn’t as intense as when using a drip pot, but when you press the coffee and pour it, there is a small crema in the cup, and the coffee has real texture.
I usually wait a few minutes for it to cool comfortably, then sip it, taking in the smell, taste, feel. I love to read and I love to write with a cup next to me. I rarely finish a cup, because it gets cold, so I pour a bit out and freshen it up. And I feel, in the most subtle of ways, the little boost as the caffeine hits.
The weekend is a great time for me to enjoy coffee. I love to sit around and sip it doing something completely relaxing. But when one of my 14 hour days is dragging on, I want to have a cup to get that extra little something. And I love to sip it when I’m bored.
Now that my coffee is nearly devoid of caffeine, I’m developing a new relationship to it. I took a small amount of regular this morning, as medicine really to ward off the withdrawal symptoms that have been pestering me. That sip, and a half a cup of half-caf today was it. I’d love a cup now, but I’m not sure; the caffeine in it apparently meant more to me than I thought.
But I’ll be content with good decaf. There’s plenty of good decaf beans out there, and once the worst of the withdrawal is done, I’ll be happy.
It’s a good thing I’m not an addict or something. I can’t even imagine what that must be like.