A love letter to the Novice Coffee Drinker
Dear Novice Coffee Drinker,
Do you remember the days when you used to drink instant coffee from the jar, sometimes perhaps not even attempting to put it into a pretty canister because you were in too much of a hurry?
Yes, I remember those days. It was back in the day when coffee was simply coffee and you drunk it quickly in order to do two things a) give yourself a boost b) to rehydrate and then move on. However, instant coffee never really hydrated you, did it, it just left you with dull skin and a thumping headache. And it never really did anything to boost you much, apart from give you the jitters. It was quick and it was easy to prepare and that was about all it did for you. But you didn’t realise that back then did you? Coffee was coffee and you were in too much of a hurry to care.
And then you discovered REAL coffee. And it was a love affair from which you’ve never really recovered. REAL coffee doesn’t just hydrate you, it also keeps you boosted but without giving you the jitters. Because as we now know, you can drink more filtered coffee than instant without the agitation and the jitters instant coffee causes. And what you didn’t know then either, is that coffee is actually good for you, and there are several reasons why you should drink it. It can help against heart disease, diabetes and it can even help you live longer – as long as you don’t drink it at high temperatures.
Yes, those conflicting reports can be confusing, but as you reach for your freshly ground African coffee and reach for the stovetop, you forget all about that. All you can think about is the fresh smell as you open the pack up, and that gorgeous dark brown with caramel coloured froth around the edges. Is there another smell like it? No, not really, I should know, I LOVE my coffee too.
There are no ends to the ways we can drink freshly ground coffee. Remember when we used to drink instant, laced with plenty of milk or cream and sugar? That was what we thought a cup of coffee should taste like, until we tried real ground coffee in all its splendour. Ground down to a rich chocolate brown powder that was a joy to run your fingers through or even stick your nose into the pack, just for that beautiful aroma. Now we know better, black is best. A rich cup, and yes a cup not a mug. We don’t need to drink coffee in large mugs, we only need a small amount and we can serve it in those dainty little cups. They don’t have to be small espresso ones, but those smallish mug/cups with exquisite designs on, so we enjoy just the right amount.
Yes, I remember what it was like to drink instant coffee, and how not matter how expensive the jar was, it never really matched up to its marketing slogans. It didn’t matter how sophisticated the adverts were, instant coffee was like eating takeout food, it filled you up but left you feeling empty again 10 minute later, a real disappointment.
And now novice coffee drinker you find yourself exactly where I am now. In love with the aroma, the sight of it, the taste of it, that feeling of pure excitement when you see the package arrive on your mat first thing in the morning. The sense of adventure when you prepare it for the first time, waiting as it infuses, sipping it slowly (you don’t gulp anymore), but savour the taste and notes of this beautiful sweet chocolately tasting brew.
Oh and have you tried cupping yet? Yes, that adventure in slurping, the only time when its socially acceptable to make rude noises when you eat or drink something. A great adventure in your coffee tasting journey. And you’ve made friends along the way and you all discuss your coffee tasting adventures together.
No more instant for you. You and I have been on the same journey my friend, we all started out on the instant coffee express, only to find ourselves in the coffee ground station of fulfilment together. Do let me know how you get on with your coffee tasting journey, I’ll be right there with you. Do hope to hear from in the near future, I’m off now to make myself a cup of coffee and drown in the luxurious smell of freshly ground coffee and dream of South American coffee plantations, and the warm sun beaming down on the coffee bean plant. No more instant for me, no sirree.