The other day…and early this morning…
I remember the first time I drank black coffee. We were at a company park where my uncle worked. Dad came over to the table where my brothers, cousin, and I were sitting. My cousin was drinking coffee and dad told me it was alright if I wanted to get a cup. Only, I had to have it black! He said later on I could always add stuff to it, but first learn to drink it black!
I was about 11 or 12. Proudly I went to the pot and drew myself a cup. The most horrible and vile tasting stuff!
Two things stand out in my mind from this time period.
- Dad was right. After I learned to drink it black I seldom put anything in the coffee today unless it’s bad tasting coffee. (It was the same way with driving – learn to drive with a standard transmission and I would always be able to drive with anything I wanted later.)
- From this first coffee drinking day, I have looked for a long time for the most perfect blend of coffee.
Hence, my search for a favored blend of coffee has taken me to trying different types of coffee – arabica, Turkish, espresso, special blends from around the world, make with all types of brewing methods!
Some friends took us out to eat and I found a cup of wonderful blend at the “Strawberry Patch” restaurant in downtown Anchorage. And since then, I have not found a repeat performance!
Over the years I have bought various beans from different companies, and the most favored blend came from Gevalia Coffee through their mail order process. I do not remember it’s blend, but it was an expensive bean!
Just a few years ago I found that Peet’s Espresso blend makes the perfect Americano and I will use it as often as I can find it.
The most favored taste is still Dunkin’ Donuts ground beans at the donut counter. Back in the 60’s and 70’s. Along with a plain cake dunking donut, I learned that a coffee and donut go together like a hand in a glove!
They even made a handle to hold on to while dunking!
Growing up, it was Maryland Club Coffee that I remember the most. Driving down Navigation Blvd (and there may have been a time when this was a fancy boulevard, but now it was a factory and manufacturing warehouse street), we would pass the Maryland Club coffee roasting building, and the smell of coffee beans prepared for packaging was a smell that I savor to this day.
Back then, mom and dad made coffee with a drip coffee pot – today they use an electric perc – I’m not sure why! With the drip pot you put the grounds (regular grind, not fine grind) in the basket, boiled water and poured into the top. The water would drip through tiny holes, wash the grounds below, and drip hot, fresh, ready to drink black coffee, into the serving pot below.
Overseas I found out that instant coffee can be good, especially since that was all they had in the hotel rooms. Since then I have traveled with my Starbucks Via House Blend. Best tasting micro-ground coffee I can find!
In Israel and Jordan I learned that Turkish coffee can be really good if you can somehow strain out the grinds with your teeth! Otherwise, you need to learn to crunch the beans! In Petra I watched this merchant take his coffee brewing material to setup further down the canyon. With the coffee brewer near the tail end of the burro, I was not sure if I wanted any of his brew!
All of this brings me about the thought of savoring memories. Some memories naturally cause a mellow feeling to sweep over the moment as you recall some point in the past. These particular memories draw in the surroundings like covering with a blanket on a cold day. Warmth seeps through everything and you enjoy the moment as if cozying up to a camp fire late in the evening time.
I Remember – by me…
I remember a favorite place and time of prayer – in two different churches. One up in the attic, hot and dusty, the other behind the piano, crowded yet alone.
I remember a favorite stream, seeping out of some unknown spring, carving down to the pond below – a favorite place to play.
I remember road trips, ever further afield. Where the joy of the next bend in the road made me pensive and still.
I remember true love found during a cool fall and winter season. Over 43 years ago, this love is still with me and pleasing.
I remember the joy of new birth as my children entered this world. Long and arduous nights, brings moments of playful day.
I remember as the world once was – big, confusing, and far away. Travel brings me to those places where memories are savored daily.
Finally, I remember the bitter taste of coffee grown sweet – still black and bitter and strong. Where is that favorite cup? Looking for it still.