Monday, June 8, 2009

It's About the Coffee

I will be posting about coffee this week. About life, too, since coffee seems to be interwoven into my life and part of many of my happiest moments.

This steamy, dark beverage is my luxury of choice. I am selective. The beans must be of good quality and be brewed properly. Everything must be fresh. Otherwise, I drink water.

I don't drink the flavored concoctions which are full of other ingredients and which pose as coffee beverages. And please don't serve it to me cold. I drink it hot, even in summer.

My insistence on freshness amuses my family. It has earned me the nickname of "princess". If the coffee bakes for more than 10 minutes, I won't drink it. The taste has changed. The effect renders it undrinkable to me. I can tell by the smell of the beans whether the coffee is worthy. I have discovered some favorites: Costa Rica Peaberry, Columbian, Kona blends, and others. I brew it differently depending on my mood -- extra strong so it's as rich as liquid chocolate, in a French press for a European style cup, or light and quick for a coffee that floats across the palate. I do drink a few Starbucks grinds, but since I prefer light to medium roasts, I have experimented happily with other fine coffees. I will be sharing my insider's tips with you this week.

Still, I would never pretend to be a coffee expert. I thought I had become discerning until I read an article about a coffee taster in the BBC news:

"The tongue of the chief coffee taster for a worldwide chain of coffee shops has been insured for£10m ($13.95m).

"Gennaro Pelliccia personally tastes a sample of each batch of raw coffee beans at its London plant before they are roasted and shipped to its stores.

" 'My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavours,' he says.

"Costa Coffee, which sells 108 million cups of coffee worldwide each year, aims to double its number of outlets.

"The insurance policy was taken out with Lloyds of London.

" 'The taste buds of a Master of Coffee are as important as the vocal cords of a singer or the legs of a top model, and this is one of the biggest single insurance policies taken out for one person,' said a spokesman for Lloyd's broker Glencairn Limited, which arranged the insurance cover.

" 'In my profession my taste buds and sensory skills are crucial... and allow me to distinguish any defects,' said Mr Pelliccia."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/03/09 10:50:27 GMT

Now, that's a coffee expert.

As you can see, I am really not that discerning after all. And by extension, not that picky, either. But, since I am a coffee lover, that's what I will write about -- how to enjoy coffee with zest, how to make a blissful cup, favorite coffee products, and even a favorite coffee shop.

I'm looking forward to it. Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will brew a cup of extra strong. It's been a long day.

1 comment:

  1. Am looking forward to it ~ all summer, little bits of pleasure. It's a wonderful idea!!


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