Friday, October 26, 2012

Dear Cuppa Joe


Dear Cuppa Joe,

Without a doubt, you are an indispensable daily requirement that starts off my mornings on the right track.  Which is all fine and dandy, except I've just recently stumbled into a cafe named Coffee Snobbery, and it seems as if I may never be able to voluntarily walk out of there, ever again.

I fell in love with coffee in college.  All those cafes around campus weren't only great places to study, but they also exuded the enticing aroma of coffee beans.  These were the places where I learned the differences in the concoction of cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, mochas, and cafe au laits.  It was also the time in my life where I became lactose intolerant (my despicable Asian curse).  Which is why now I just stick to coffees.  And good ones at that.

There were short periods in my life where I went cold turkey on coffee--during the years of trying to conceive (with our IF issues, I didn't want to take any chances), pregnancies, and subsequent months of nursing.  Those periods of sleep deprivation made it even harder to stay away from the caffeine, but I managed.  And since I've been done with the baby stuff, I've been back on caffeine addiction, red carpet style.

Over the years, I've done the drip, the single serving machine, and the 3-in-1 packets.  I've done whole bean (to grind fresh), ground (cuz I got lazy), and sometimes even instant coffee crystals (made with evaporated milk to replicate Asian bakeries' coffees).  But I like my good coffee beans and always bought decent brands to satisfy my taste buds.

Until recently.

I purchased a bag of Really Good Coffee because it was on sale, and subsequently could not stop talking about its bold flavor and smoothness.  I wondered how I'd even go back to my regular brands.  I enjoyed it for a week and took the conversation onto Facebook.  After a really long discussion about coffee, one of my dearest college friends offered to send me some Blue Bottle Coffee from her neck of the woods.  First, I was floored with her generosity--we hadn't seen each other since college, but we still held our friendship back then dear to our twenty-years-later hearts.  Then, because she mentioned a different method to prepare this excellent coffee, I did some research and learned about the 'pour-over' method in coffee making.

I had heard of this method a few months back at a coffee shop where it charged more to have it prepared this way.  At the time, I didn't try it, since I'm cheap I didn't believe how hand dripped coffee could be that much better.  But because I had a gift card, I was able to purchase a ceramic dripper, a quality manual coffee bean burr grinder, and a swan neck kettle to prepare this extraordinarily aromatic coffee beans I received in the mail.  I watched some videos on the preparation and made my first cup of coffee with via the pour-over method.

I'm pretty sure I heard the Coffee Angels sing in perfect unison to the reaction of my taste buds.  

I don't know if it was the quality of the beans or the method by which it was prepared--and I'm sure it was a combination of both--but the it was so good that I knew there was no going back.  I am officially a Coffee Snob. 

Every morning, between the time I wake up and send the kids on the school bus, I have one thing on my mind.  I think about my heavenly coffee--the one that takes a lot of time to make just a single cup.  The desire for this cup of coffee is what gets me motivated to get the kids out the door.  It is my reward after the Morning Madness.

But more than just the taste of the coffee, I'm also in love with the entire experience in the preparation of it.  Much like a tea ceremony, the pour-over method requires similar time, skill, and patience to make one single cup of coffee.  I boil water.  I grind the coffee beans manually by hand-cranking a burr grinder.  I drip hot water over the coffee grounds with a swan neck kettle by hand.  It takes a few extra minutes, but it is so worth the effort

I am on my second bag of Giant Steps coffee from Blue Bottle.  It is organic coffee beans freshly roasted just weeks before you receive it in the mail.  It is described as "dark and chocolaty" and "delightfully fudgy."  Even without these words, I can smell it and taste it in my mind any second of my waking hours, and probably in sleeping ones, too.  I think I've even gotten Dear Husband hooked on this coffee.  He has shown me a number of articles written about Blue Bottle Coffee since his first cup, and every single one of them mentions a form of the word, "snob."  Couples that coffee snob together, stay together, right?

Which makes me a proud Coffee Snob.  A girl's gotta have her coffee just the way she likes it. 

So, Dear Cuppa Joe, you are my Day Starter, my Morning Comfort, my Daily Salvation, and my Liquid Happy.  And now with my new stash of coffee preparation equipment and my Bestest Coffee Beans, I can shamelessly indulge in my own little world of Coffee Extravagance in the comfort of my own home. 

Cheers!

Sincerely,
Me

P.S.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed here are solely mine.  Actual user experiences may vary. 

20 comments:

  1. Oh, my...reading this...I think I just had a coffeegasm. Must try pour over method.

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    1. And that is why this coffee is so addictive! I love it, Cindy. I think I'll have to borrow that term from you. :)

      The pour-over method is fun, but if you asked me to pick, I'd say that it's the goodness of the coffee beans that makes the most difference. (You can pour-over poor coffee beans all you want and not have coffeegasms--see? I just did.) ;) Uncommon Ground is the place where I saw this method of preparation. Not sure if you have one of those in your area or not. Blue Bottle is only in CA and now NY. I still have to mail order mine.

      Thanks for visiting, and have a great weekend!

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  2. I'm not a routine coffee drinker, but with the cold weather coming, I think I'll be drinking more!

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    1. I'm a routine coffee drinker--AM only--but with the cold weather coming, I start drinking lots of tea! Nothing like a hot cup of herbal tea at nighttime. :)

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  3. Hi Sandra! I'm certainly coffee-drinker! But I'm not as dedicated as you. For a while, I was using a french press but then the one I bought was too small ;). So now I use the coffee machine. Occasionally I'll stop in Starbucks for a latte since I can't make that at home. I too lazy too. My favorite cafe is Starbucks and I brew those beans at home too. I am seriously addicted to the caffeine in coffee. I can't imagine not having it in the morning. When I was preg with J, I gave up all caffeine. But back then, I wasn't as addicted. I don't know how I'll fare when we're ready for baby #2!

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    1. I guess babies were the only reasons--good enough ones--to make me stop all caffeine consumption. It's probably not even necessary, but I did it "just in cases." :) I keep reading about the benefits that coffee has (antioxidants, etc), so I hope that my one cup a day is doing some sort of good! Thanks, Lisa!

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  4. I waited to make my coffee until i read this and now the anticipation is so high, i may actually die before i reach the kitchen :D LOVE this!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. Coffee makes my world go 'round. Or, at least, makes my day begin. And with a good cup, I have a much higher chance of having a good day. I hope you enjoyed your coffee this morning! :)

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  5. Blue bottle has a cult following in SF, and I agree that you might be considered a snob if you drink it, but only because most people don't get the nuances of flavors in food and therefore coffee, so they call you snob because they are jealous. I am an espresso snob, self proclaimed even.

    Going to make my second cup....

    Happy drinking!

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    1. I guess that means I'm a part of that cult from afar (with all those articles I've read, 'cult' is really the right word), and I am not ashamed of it! I teach on Sunday mornings, which means I have to use the coffee machine since I don't have time for "the ritual," and I MOST DEFINITELY can tell--today, for the first time--that the flavor was not all there. There should be colored belts for Coffee Snobbery, cuz I just went up a level today.

      So cool you're an espresso snob. That's sort of untouched territory for me, and an entire new art, but perhaps one day... Thanks, Laura!

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  6. Your post made me wish I liked the taste of coffee. Love the smell of it, especially hazelnut or Irish cream, but just don't have a taste for it. Tried it plain, with sugar, cream and sugar, fancy Starbuck's style...no go. Tea is my thing :)

    If knowing the coffee you like and feeling free to buy it makes you a coffee snob, then that's okay! You deserve to have a coffee and morning routine you enjoy. Makes getting up with the kids a lot easier, I imagine.

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    1. Janna, coffee is not everyone's 'thing', and that's just how it goes. I've loved coffee ever since my teens, so I'm an addict. Tea is so comforting in cold weather and at night--I totally agree! I don't partake in a whole lot of extravagances (I don't think!), so this important one takes priority. Thanks for siding with my coffee indulgence!

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  7. You should take a look at www.sweetmaria.com, www.homebarista.com and www.jimseven.com

    You will hate me after that

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    1. I'm afraid to... but I'm sure I will. Um, thanks?! :)

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  8. Sweet Maria is good too.

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  9. I love it! I'm not a coffee drinker - it's too bitter for me, and I don't metabolize caffeine - but I can appreciate others' love for coffee. And the extra time and attention and taste? That's part of what makes it special, and I love that you're taking that time just for you! Enjoy :)

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I love that you're rooting on my indulgence, too! You're right--it is my little me-time of the day, and I do very much enjoy it. :)

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  10. This sounds delish! I am a coffee addict, as you know.
    The way you describe the beans??? YES PLEASE.

    It is so nice also, to allow ourselves to ''like' things, and to take the time to enjoy those things.
    I look forward to a cup, perhaps next November....:-)

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    1. I'd LOVE to make you a cup, or twelve, Kim! I may not have time to fold laundry, but I have time to hand grind and hand pour my coffee. :) If you ever come across Blue Bottle Coffee, try it!

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