Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weird Wednesday: Stream of Coffee Consciousness

Not sure what to write about.  It’s early.  Life changed yesterday when the school year started for everyone in the house – students and teacher alike.  A bit disoriented this morning.  But, that’s not what this post is about. 

I’ll figure it out.  Once I get my coffee.

This blog has a strong spiritual connection to coffee.  I often write When Dad Cooks at 6:30 in the morning.  It’s one of the ways I wake up to face the day. 

But, that’s not what this post is about.

Man does not face the day armed only with his food blog.  He also needs his coffee.  Coffee has a long and amazing history involving colonial conquest, religious sacrifice, modern-day child slavery and the Starbuckification of the world. 

But, this post is not about those things either.

I take my coffee black.  Not with sugar.  Not with cream.  Black.  Do not lighten it with your confounding confections.  I want my coffee the color of Jack the Ripper’s soul as seen from a deep cave while wearing sunglasses and using a lump of coal as a telescope. 

Some day I’ll write about the variety of waitress responses when you order your coffee in those words. 

Coffee is different in different parts of the world despite Starbucks’s best efforts.  One morning long ago I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  I awoke from a deep, jet-lagged sleep and stumbled to a business meeting I could smell from around the block.  And the coffee itself walked out of the machine and down my throat. 

Not heaven, actually.  I was just in Munich, Germany.  Those Bavarians know how to make coffee with some crunch.

However, this post is not about Bavarians or even Jack the Ripper.  I’ll find a topic soon.  Have to before the wife wakes up.

I don’t have a fancy coffee machine.  I did once, but I got over it.  It was one of those things that grinds the coffee, heats the water, adjusts the drip rate and files your taxes for you.  I became completely dependent on it, forgetting how to make coffee for myself.  At the first malfunction, I beat it with a hammer trying to fix it.  It still didn’t work. 

So, I got a bigger hammer. 

And before you judge me for that, remember, I hadn’t had my coffee yet.  What’s worse, I had to relearn how to make it for myself before I could get my coffee.  I had a bad month that day.

While we’re on the subject of coffee technology (which is still not what this post is about), have you seen these new-fangled, sleek, high-tech machines that make just one cup of coffee?  What’s up with that? 

We can put a man on the moon and a lawn mower on Mars and someone thought this was a good use of science?  All that money, research and development and you get just ONE CUP OF COFFEE?  How did that make sense to anyone?  No Bavarians involved there, by God…

But, I digress.  Well, the truth is I am digressing within an extended digression.  Must be a topic around here somewhere.

Following the unfortunate incident with the coffee maker, we bought a French press carafe.  Those French know how to make coffee too.  You have to learn how to do it, but you’re doing it for yourself.  No big-time technology involved and you get a whole darned pot of the stuff.

You boil the water.

Once the water comes to a boil take it off the fire for a little bit.  You don’t want boiling water for coffee.

You grind the coffee beans. 

I use a coffee mill that allows you to control the size of the grain a little better.  You want a big grain with a French press pot.  Pour those lovely grounds into the pot.  Then pour your water over them.  Replace the lid and leave the plunger up.  Time it carefully.  For us, it’s three minutes, no more or less.

Then grab that knob, say a silent prayer that finally your day is about to begin the way God intended.  It’s all about the knob now.  

Gentle pressure to start, don’t rush it.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.  DIY Dad to the rescue.  No fancy technology needed.  Push that sucker down so you can feel the energy flow through your veins and finally get writing!


Where’s the hammer?

[Chef Dad note: If this has been a particularly weird Weird Wednesday post…well…I haven’t had my coffee yet.]


  1. I generally stumble into the kitchen, glasses and hair awry, to slop some water into a cup, put it on the "beverage" setting in the microwave, and then when it's hot enough add three large spoonfuls of coffee. That's all.

    Sometimes, I add instant coffee to brewed coffee. I like full body. I like strength.

    It wakes me up, and that is what I need it to do.

    I love this post, Chef Dad. It resonates with me. "I had a bad month that day" is me.

    Time to invest in a French press...