Sunday, September 23, 2007

Confessions of a Coffee Snob

I admit it, I’m a snob. I've tried not to be. Yet I stand before you a self confirmed coffee snob. How bad am I you might wonder? Every morning at work, there is a fresh pot of coffee made just down the hall from me in my principal’s office. In a new school, the proper thing to do would be to graciously accept this offer, which I've tried. I really did. But Folgers? And then they even had a Kona blend. A blend? I’m sorry. I tried, but I just couldn't. Pretty bad, huh? It gets worse. I can't drink from a styrofoam cup. Why ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee by putting it in sytrofoam? Yuck. I'm even particular about which mug I use. No one or two finger mugs, please. And it's not enough that it's a three or four finger mug; it must also have the right balance. (Keep in mind that the balance changes when it's full.) Here are two of my favorites. The blue one is just perfect. The Bush/Cheney one is fun because I'm the lone conservative in a world of liberal educators! And to top it off, I LOVE our coffee maker (thanks Mom): a Cuisinart Grind & Brew with a thermal carafe. I have it set so that as I walk in from the gym each morning, a fresh pot is waiting. A perfect way to start the day. I just realized that by admitting this none of you that know me will ever offer me coffee again. :(

It’s my father-in-law’s fault (pictured at right). He created this in me. I always enjoyed coffee but he taught me to love it. I can't blame him for the snob part though. Following his death, I inherited his coffee roaster and started buying green coffee online.

I remember when he introduced me to the fine art of roasting coffee beans. He proudly escorted his brother-in-law, Claude, and me outside to give us our first roasting lesson in his mother’s garage. He was still roasting beans with a hot air popcorn popper at the time. More exciting than the lesson itself was his joy in what he was doing; in his sharing this with us. It’s a vivid memory I hold of a wonderful man, and a wonderful time. It obviously had an impact on Claude too as he is a fellow roaster today!

I also have to confess, the snob that I am, I’m not a purist. Try as I have, I cannot drink my coffee black. I must have my Coffee-mate and Splenda. I am so addicted to drinking my coffee that way, I rarely order coffee at restaurants unless I bring my stash bag with me. My mother even keeps a small container of Coffee-mate and packets of Splenda because of my compulsion. I still can’t believe I had gone three months without coffee when first confronted with my health scare because I was avoiding the Coffee-mate. That was definitely the hardest part of my restricted meal plan. Since my condition has greatly improved, I've allowed coffee back in. And it has been wonderful. :)

Just in case I've stimulated any interest in roasting here, are my two favorite sites. You'll find everything you need to get started. The Coffee Project has a great online video section with roasting demos, coffee history, and production. Coffee Bean Corral has a great coffee matrix to use to compare different types of coffee.


Dillo said...

Gee.....I kinda thought the Bush/Cheney mug would tilt to the right.....

Mel said...

wow..there's no way I'm letting my husband read this post!! My mother converted him to brewed coffee and now he can't drink the instant stuff without a pained look on his face :D But he has not gone as far as roasting his own beans. I don't drink coffee...never could get a taste for the (nasty!) stuff...I'm a green tea gal...but I do like the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning :D

Lizzie Azzolino said...

I'm glad I could be your first "link." My blog is a project for a social media class I'm taking at the University of Georgia. It's all about "everyday people," so I'm making an effort to incorporate as many people into the blog as possible.

I have to drink my coffee out of a huge blue mug with at least 8 packages of Splenda. I've very particular, too!