Friday, February 1, 2013

Wake up and savour the smell of freshly made coffee!


Coffee---thank God that is something I should be able to enjoy a few months after my surgery. If I had to choose between coffee and wine, think it would be the wine that goes. I hear that I shall only be able to have one ‘standard’ drink (at most) after a few months and then that’s not guaranteed. I also hear that I ‘will be anyone’s after that drink. I guess it’s going to be a matter of ‘less is more,’ so I shall only have the best.

Coffee, oh coffee. Am I addicted? Maybe---I don’t care. I have a nice Italian coffee machine and I reckon I have become damned good at making a ‘café-quality’ cup and then some. Some may say I am obsessed. Well that’s OK; I can think of much worse obsessions than coffee. What do I love about it?

There’s the smell of freshly roasted beans and then there’s the whole process of making a cup. Yeah I know that you can get a pretty good cup from those Nespresso machines. Yeah, I admit to having some lovely sups at my sisters. I think I am in love with the process though; something akin to the Japanese loving the ‘art of making tea.’

I don’t go quite that far, but anyone visiting (come over if you are buying a book and I shall make you a freebie) can attest to my love of the ‘process.’ If my behaviours cause amusement, then at least I have drawn a smile to what otherwise may have been a boring day for the said visitor.

I search out the best beans and have arrived at the conclusion that ‘fresh is best.’ Beans that are less than a week old since their roasting are most definitely able to produce the best results. Supermarket offerings usually don’t quite match up. I keep going back to a little café on Manukau Road where they have a nice little number called ‘Mrs White.’ What I have found for some of the very expensive brands is that they are better suited to processes other than coffee machines. I think that they are meant for either black coffee or plungers. For that wonderful ‘flat white,’ I like the afore mentioned beans, but that’s not to say that there are no other great beans out there. I will buy from cafes if they make a fine cup and can guarantee ‘fresh beans’ and then it is usually the ‘house brands’ that best suit my machine.

After I have ground my beans in my excellent grinder (don’t use those cheap ‘cutters’—they are crap) and heated my machine, I let the coffee extrude into my little clear cup. I love the way the colour changes from a chocolate colour to deep brown or almost black. Then I ‘do the milk.’ There is an art in this, if you want that silky smooth look. It can depend on the age and style of milk.

Then, I sit down and relax, enjoying every last drop. Not for me, those big cups of ‘flavoured milk’ you sometimes get at cafes in the mistaken belief that you are getting quantity over quality.

If you have decided that I am a big fat snob when it comes to coffee---go for it, while I sip on my delectable offering.