Do any of you ever need coffee but you don't have time to go where you know the good stuff is or it's to far away? Most likely not, because the majority of you are Baristas and working in the industry.
That was me today, and on a coffee lovers holiday! I don't work in the coffee industry, but for me coffee is passion; a daily passion that takes me all over my city seeking out my black gold.
Today was interesting....
I woke up only to realize it was National Coffee Day! But I was out of bean, actually I think there where about 5 or 6 stray beans in the jar. Maybe i should have eaten them.
Anyway... My wife had this great idea. Lets break out the old Drip/Filter sunbeam machine and cleaned it up. So in honer of Coffee Day, we went back to our roots and took some pre-ground beans we snagged from a hotel that had been on a pantry shelf for about a year and brewed them. My son, who's 8 years old said: "What is that thing?" so we explained to him what is was, then he made a funny smirk and said "It looks cheap" and he ran out to the bus stop.
So we had our "coffee" and was it great? Of course not, and that was almost what made it all worth it, Nostalgia!, but really I just needed caffeine.
Well... Now lets move to lunch time. My small cup of "coffee" from the morning had not done it for me. So I found myself in the little town of Loveland, OH going to thrift stores and looking for treasure. Well that got me thinking about Coffee so I drove to this little "Coffee House". Its a yellow house that serves coffee, and I wont say names.
I walk in and find a woman working on a quilt. Hard wood floors and some cafe` tables. Its a cute place, and it smelled good, and lets be real honest I did not have high expectations.
I made some small talk and looked around at the "crafts" she was selling. Nothing I am really interested in. So I look to her menu and its the usual Capps, Latte, Espresso. I order a double espresso in a cup, for here, and my mind is thinking... "Its coffee, Yes!"
She grabs the portafilter and gently places it under the super jolly and starts dosing out the coffee, this take 5 attempts and just watching the insane tamping routine I was getting worried. I wish i could explain to you the strange tamping.
So she takes her styrofoam cup and tries to slide it under the 2 group Nuova Simonelli. Not only was it not going to fit, but drinking a double from a 16oz cup was not what I had in mind. I stopped her and politely said "Oh can I have one of those little white cups on the machine" and she asked me what I ordered, I told her, and she said she was sorry and took out the cup placed it under the machine and started pulling the shot... When it started squirting all over the place and burning the lady and making a huge mess.
I felt pretty bad for her... And she tries again to make this shot. This goes on for a while, 3 times I think; where she doses and tamps and it doesn't fit in the group and back to the grinder, dump the coffee, and try again.
While all this is going on I ask her if this is her shop or if she just works there, she says to me that its hers, and continues to work on my espresso. Then she tells me that she doesnt like coffee and only drinks instant when she has nothing else to drink.
My mind is spinning at this point.
Eventually she pulls the shot. And well it doesn't look like the best espresso I have ever seen but this lady has truly labored for it, and I give her mental credit for this. How did it taste you ask? Well... Hmm.. It was ok, actually it was bad, but I felt so bad I drank it up and smiled and was on my way.
At least I am awake and able to write this.
Hope your National Coffee Day was better than mine.