Wednesday, April 8, 2009


can be
so much
joy in the
tasks we

When I had my shop in Florida, it had the very convenient feature of being located right next store to a Starbucks coffee shop. While I am not a great fan of their coffee beans, I loved their special mochas- especially the pumpkin flavored one served up from about October through the end of January. I think it is fair to say that I had a Starbucks habit. It wasn't unusual for me to sip one in the morning while opening up the shop, and then be sipping a second one sometime after five pm. This was perhaps a time in my life when I had more money than brains. The daily cost of this little habit would now make me queasy in the stomach. It's not that I still don't enjoy a mocha now and then. I'll stop by our local coffee brew house every week or so, but I pay with change in the coin slot in the car. It runs under my finance radar this way and I enjoy the treat without guilt! But honestly, I have far more enjoyed making coffee at home these past few years. You know a great coffee connoisseur when you meet one. I make all of my coffee drinks in a French press. Electric coffee makers just do not taste the same. Bleary eyed from yet another night's interrupted sleep, I'll fill the tea kettle and get it boiling while I clear away any remaining kitchen mess from the previous night. I cannot function in a messy kitchen- not even to make coffee. By the time the whistle blows the French press has been loaded with a double scoop of freshly ground beans and the boiling water rushes in to release that wonderful espresso aroma. It has to sit for about four minutes, and during this time I am usually finishing up making the children's breakfast.

I have to giggle every time I see the eight cups capacity mark on the press. I usually can polish off the entire carafe by early afternoon, and it is more like two full bodied cups than eight! Thank goodness I drink decaffeinated coffee. My coffee of choice has always been my old favorite Illy in its shiny aluminum can, but I am no coffee snob. I love all sorts, even some of the most inexpensive brands. It goes without saying that I am one of those rare people who drink coffee because of its taste, not because of its kick. After the beans four minute boil bath, I take my coffee in a stoneware mug. Always. It just doesn't taste the same in china or glass. My grandmother drank her coffee with milk and so do I. I place about four tablespoons in a small plastic tightly lidded container and shake it to a froth for about sixty seconds. Unbelievably, this works as well as the expensive machines that do the frothing for you. I think the trick is two percent organic milk. Lastly, a sprinkle of sugared cinnamon goes on top. It all sounds rather time consuming but in reality it takes only a few minutes. I am always finishing up other things so I can have a few rare uninterrupted minutes to savor this delight while the children are busy with their breakfast. Mornings just wouldn't be the same without this ritual of coffee brewing. The sight of oily beans and the sound of their grinding. The steam rising from the teapot and the aroma as the hot water hits the coffee grinds. The beautiful froth of milk spattered with sweet sugar and cinnamon. It's a wonderful way to greet the day.

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