I love mornings, but hate Mondays. How would I get through them without a decent cup of coffee? I don’t even want to know the answer, for coffee is not only a necessity but a love. I’m sure many of you understand.
My Mondays usually start huddled against the stove while a pot of water simmers, (I might even lean on the refrigerator for moral Monday morning support). When ready, I pour the steaming water over freshly ground beans, (some of which are strewn across the counter because my Monday morning mind can’t be bothered to be coordinated), and watch in awe as it soaks through the filter, sinking the grounds and foaming luxuriously as it drips into my mug.
The scent of the coffee rises up and I breathe in deeply, inhaling the sweet, toasty aroma. Almost as good as tasting it. I savor the first few sips, drinking them in slowly, both hands clasped around the mug, eyes still closed as I bring myself to accept that it is Monday, and I need to get ready for work. (It should be noted that after one sip I’m wide eyed and ready for the day–some call it a placebo effect, but I’m not giving it up).
Surely I am not the only one with a coffee love affair. Lines stretch around the block at coffee shops on Monday mornings, and offices are filled with employees staggering in, clutching Starbucks Venti sized brews.
But how much do we actually know about the dark, delicious beverage we consume on a daily basis? Even you non-coffee addicts suck it down, manipulating it with syrups and soy milk and ice and whatever else you weaklings do to numb the taste you don’t appreciate. We know it wakes us up with scent, taste and caffeine. We know we need it. We know we love it. But there’s more to coffee than a caffeine jolt or being able to order a Triple Venti sugar free, non-fat, no foam, extra caramel, with whip caramel macchiato without messing up. Here, a quick rundown:
Who: Everyone. Coffee is something the entire world can get behind.
What: “A brewed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds of several species of an evergreen shrub of the genus Coffea,” (thanks Wikipedia).
When: The caffeine effect was first discovered in Ethiopia by the ancestors of today’s Oromo people, but probably cultivated first in Arabia. Sufis in Yemen can take credit as the first coffee drinkers in the mid 15th century. In the English language, coffee was first represented in 1598 as “chaoua”
Where: Consumed worldwide and grown in more than 70 countries, but most commonly produced in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Why: In the beginning, coffee was used in religious ceremonies in East Africa and Yemen, (later banned because they competed with the Catholic Church). Today, used widely for taste, energy and social reasons.
How: Coffee berries are harvested when ripe, then processed and dried to reach the seeds inside. The seeds are roasted, which is where the taste comes from, with different roasting times and temperatures providing different flavors. Finally, the roasted beans are ground and brewed.
More info and a tasting guide coming soon to turn you into a caffeinated, coffee connoisseur. Drink up and happy Monday!