Our love of coffee has been an ever evolving journey. And occasionally, when you are on a long trip - it's good to take a breath and look around - and even look back. It can sometimes provide focus for where you are going to be heading next.
- I remember living in our first apartment in Seattle. We had no furniture - our kitchen table was a cardboard box on the floor with a piece of Plexiglas for a top. We used to believe that the best coffee we could get was from the bulk bins at the local grocery. Our choice was guided by the date is was added to the bin (hoping it hadn't been exposed to too much air) - and also wanted a nice health sheen of oil on the bean (thinking that was "good flavor").
- After Seattle, we had a an old farm house in Northern NY. For reference, that's about 3 hours north of "Upstate NY". In those dark days before the internet, we used to mail order Starbucks coffee. (Some of our Christmas ornaments are still packed in those mail order boxes...) For that point in time, it was good coffee. We loved it. But we moved didn't/couldn't/wouldn't stop there...
- Probably from the time we spent in Europe during college, I thought that espresso is the highest form of coffee - coffee's finest expression. Much more recently, I am still enamored with espresso - I bought a Pavoni lever machine that is a thing of beauty, and makes great espresso when I get a chance to pull shots. But espresso is expensive to do well. I think most people at home are best served by buying a decent grinder and some form of pour over, Clever dripper, or french press, or Technivorm drip coffe maker.
- We lack good words to talk about coffee. When we ask people at farmer's markets if they like bolder or milder coffees, about 90% respond 'bolder'. (see #1 above about a sheen of oil...) I no longer believe that coffee should be treated like a full contact sport. A bit of time out in my own personal "concussion protocol" has me enjoying the full spectrum of flavors found in our 8 selections. And I keep looking for those good coffees we can support, roast well, and share with friends.