Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Escargot, Caviar Non!, Coffee Oui!
I've never had a sophisticated palate. I tried caviar once and did a "Tom Hanks" with it. I was offered escargot once but couldn't get past the image of those pests in the garden. I care not a whit for Prime Rib and will choose a hamburger steak or meatloaf over a T-Bone any day of the week.
But I've always been a devoted coffee lover. And for 30 years that coffee was Folgers. Maybe it was those warm and inviting Folgers commercials that played well for the holidays. The guy or girl comes home from some far off place, delights in the morning quiet throughout old familiar "home", walks into the kitchen and makes a steaming pot of Folgers.
Whenever I returned home from overseas the first night was always a night of "catching up" with family, over pot after pot of Folgers. Whether served from a fancy drip coffeemaker or my mom's old electric percolator, the coffee was wonderful.
Alas, my devotion to Folgers was not to last. About 20 years ago I wondered into a Costco store, took a peek at their Kirkland brand coffee (sourced from Seattle's Best) , carried it home for a tryout, and was lost to Folgers forever. The rich bold taste of that first pot of Kirkland coffee was so wonderful I immediately wondered how I could have enjoyed the "watered down" taste of Folgers.
For the next decade I drank the Kirkland Roast in the morning and their decaffeinated roast in the evening. It was always a coffee with a "bite", a flavor that finely finished off a good meal or a dessert.
Then a few years ago my daughter began sending me a monthly shipment of Peet's Coffee, Goruda Blend and I fell in love all over again. I have a Bunn coffemaker that will push through five cups of Peet's Goruda Blend in 90 seconds flat, and even that is too long for me while waiting for that first sip.
Somehow Peet's has managed to blend a deeply rich and robust coffee without the slightest hint of bitterness. It is wonderfully aromatic as you dip into your first sip and the flavor just dances across the tongue and yells "wake the hell up!".
So I am admittedly now a "coffee snob". I've joined the ranks of those millions of Starbuck aficionados that insist on kick ass flavor, and simply cannot tolerate the weak-kneed off the shelf commercial brands. (My apologies to those who, either by choice, or budget restriction still cling to Folgers or Maxwell House or Yuban).
When I was a young guy in Vietnam I drank gallons of those little Korean War era instant coffee packs straight from a canteen cup. I've drank coffee from 50 gallon vats from the chow hall; coffee that will either put hair on your chest, or burn it off. But now I'm one of those soft, snide, spoiled "sophisticates" who finds the old coffee brands to be bland, watered down, tasteless. Don't offer me colored hot water.
No, I must now have a big busted coffee that struts up to me and says "can you handle this , big boy!"
..."the best part of waking up is .....". :)