Monday, December 10, 2007

Something to drink?

I am developing a discerning attitude towards coffee. I was drawn to it late in life, mostly through paper cup envy and not the drink itself. In Iowa I would show up for class sheepishly holding a water bottle while everyone else held a steaming cup/mug of "something much more chic." Momentarily casting aside all thoughts for my health and the environment, I decided to trade in my morning water for a small cup of joe from the Java House. What better to go with yet another round of Bach recits and Marie's home baked goodies? After a couple of days I realized I had clearly been missing out. I soon discovered my favorite blends of brew (no espresso in the morning for me, thank you) and learned to take it without sugar or cream.

Now I live in the coffee capital of America, and my taste is becoming more refined. I still won't drink Starbucks home brew. I agree with my mother-in-law in that it is too brackish. My current favorite is the daily blend served by Forza, a South Sound local chain. Forza serves me well for both its dark, smoky coffee and fine dissertation-writing environment, complete with fireplace and cheesy-sounding-but-actually-quite-classy indoor Italian fountain. I also recently discovered the best cup of espresso known to man at Tacoma's new Satellite Coffee. I swear I have never tasted anything so smooth, and without the odd Teriyaki taste that accompanies the so-called best espresso served at Blackwater Cafe. (I should add that I also don't have the necessary prerequisite number of tattoos to allow me entering Blackwater without a significant turning-of-heads in my direction...) My environmental sensibilities have returned from that momentary lapse in Iowa, and I generally drink at home or at the cafe out of a mug rather than the paper cup. (Tully's has started serving coffee in 100% compostable cups--hurrah for the crunchy Northwest!)

As my dissertating becomes more intense I look forward to my coffee more and more. Not for the caffeine--truly, as I generally do half-and-half or entirely decaf post-noon--but for the comforting taste. Or is it for the fact that preparing a perfect cup requires a significant break from translating old Flemish at my computer? I must boil the water, grind the beans, locate the perfect biscuit, open the mail, admire my Christmas tree, read another chapter in my non-Peter Philips book, and, oh, what time in dinner? Better get that started ...

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