Hello little coffee bean…
You are responsible for artificially instigating bouts of productivity, spates of dizziness and shakes worthy of Elvis .. And the humble cup of Jo holds the title of the most popular hot drink worldwide (temperature dependent popularity is a fickle scale).
I love my morning coffee, or espresso, macchiato or Latte… or sometimes all four. But, to quote esteemed directed Quentin Tarantino; ‘I want to taste my coffee when I drink it’. I bring this quote to light (ref. pulp f) because it seems that some people are really struggling to grasp the concept behind making coffee. And it really grinds on me. Literally.
How hot is too hot?
Why the ‘big boys’ in the coffee industry (not to name any names but it could rhyme with mars – trucks) refuse to respect how a coffee should be made is a conundrum that has puzzled me for years… Capital coffee crime numero-uno: coffee should be made with hot water, stop… not boiling or just boiled! Just ‘hot’, as in ‘above warm’ (why?) so you don’t burn the beans (good idea) so what do we do? Burn the beans… grrrr
Stop distracting us with muffins and rich mahogany
Many coffee outlets forego the idea that we might understand the concept of where coffee comes from by presenting us with a grossly large vat of coffee beans in an intimidating Perspex wall. Stood cowering beneath this monstrosity I imagine a scene of impending doom; The wall… ripe to breach… at any moment, enveloping those careless enough to have lusted upon a few minutes of free WiFi … crushed under the weighty sea of lava java in mission-impossible-esque dramatics.
Anyway.. coffee is ordered. Currency is exchanged. Loyalty cards are scanned in a futile attempt to regain a sense of financial responsibility. The impossibly large steampump machines grind away, beans spilling from atop their tower, plunging a few whole feet from their holding pen – the chosen few.
All to ensure your coffee is ‘freshly ground’! People like to witness grinding you see. After freshly grinding your coffee from the second largest Perspex-locked stock pile of natural matter in the county you are presented with your paper cup with the insulative properties of a wet paper bag.
To feign value for money – your coffee is topped up with a pint of milk (no matter what you’ve ordered) run through the steam again and placed upon a counter several miles away from where you entered the shop -You proceed to try and identify your drink, at the baggage claim area- luckily someone wrote your name on the cup. Well they asked your name. Unless your name is ‘unidentifiable scrawl’ you are shit out of luck son.
You do however have enough time to wait until all the other coffees have been claimed as you need at least 30 minutes before thinking about putting your face near to the cup, let alone drink it at a safe temperature…
What is the light at the end of this espresso black tunnel? Well all credit to the Spanish and Italians who for the vast majority know how to make a good cup of coffee (pat on the backs all round) And I will be joining your ranks once i’ve got a down payment on theVilla ¡Viva la revolución del café