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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Coffee, Our Light Against the Gathering Darkness #hotdrinkday

Coffee, the nectar of the gods, the staff of life. For years the world has been enjoying the fruits of the coffee plant. It has become endemic, a part of culture, a ritual involving friends, couples, co-workers, acquaintances, total strangers, all coming together enjoy the rich, dark roasted beans, ground to varying degrees of perfection, and brewed into a cup of delightful, caffeinated, heavenly elixir. And now, this wonderful, life giving drink is under attack from tea drinkers, across the Atlantic, I guess we always knew it would end up this way, didn't we? With the British attacking one of our greatest institutions, again.*

I have a friend, who lives in Ireland, but she used to live in Germany, after she lived in Scotland, that is, but before Scotland she lived in London, I think, any none of that matters, what is important, she has had the opportunity to sample many nations, including tea, in the United Kingdom, which she enjoyed, quite a bit, but the drink of which she spoke most glowingly, Italian Coffee. She spoke, fondly of the pleasant aroma, the dark, rich colors, and the exquisite taste as she sipped from her demitasse, in the ancient heart of the Roman Empire, a moving, historic experience, brought to you by coffee.

Opening a fresh can, and the aroma feels the kitchen, the entire house with a fragrance, powerful, and intoxicating. Even people who don't drink coffee (and here I am thinking of my wife, who enjoys Diet Coke) have to admit it is the most pleasant of aromas. When you put it in a basket, press, or filter and run hot water over it, the aroma becomes almost magical, almost terrifying in its power. It draws the weary, it calls to the faithful, it is a morning ceremony, an afternoon reward, and an evening libation. Coffee, all things to all people.

In my house there is a coffee maker that has a normal pot, and a single serve "K-Cup" brewer. No matter what taste you are in the mood for, one cup, or twelve, it takes in the raw ingredients, and dispenses them, hot, delicious, and ready to please. It is an ingenious machine designed, manufactured and distributed the Hamilton Beach™ company, true giants of innovation (#lifeexplainedJ is still looking for corporate sponsorship if anybody from the Hamilton Beach Co. happens across this post, and I love your coffee maker, and coffee).

 Plus, I have a coffee grinder, (also a Hamilton Beach™… Ok I just made that up, I don't know what brand it is™, but it could be a Hamilton Beach®) and a "French Press" in case the desire for something a little different strikes. Unfortunately, I still have not figured out how to use the French Press the desire needs to be a gritty cup of very strong coffee, but hope springs eternal in the world of coffee drinkers.

Take a stroll down the coffee aisle at the local grocery store. French roast, Italian roast, Sumatran, Arabian, Columbian, Hawaiian, Java, that is not counting Russian coffee, Irish coffee, (trust me, the list goes on almost without end) coffee is like the United Nations of hot drinks. Coffee could bring the world together, one cup at a time. Imagine if we stopped bickering, sat down and shared a cup of coffee, things always look better when viewed through the steam rising from a fresh cup of coffee.

Not in the mood for a traditional "cup o' joe," though, as is obvious from the earlier paragraphs there is no single, traditional, cup of coffee, no worries, my friend. Just grab an iced, caramel macchiato, or a chocolate mocha, or if the time of year is right, wrap your coffee lovin' mitts around a pumpkin spice, or a peppermint, latte. Coffee, the morning drink that, when prepared properly, provides a day's worth of calories.

Coffee is a drink that has served the armed services, the Hollywood elite, the Wall Street, and Main Street. Coffee is a versatile drink, it helps make you alert, or calm you down, depending on your needs. It has a taste that is indescribable, and diverse. It brings people together, fosters and nourishes ideas, and provides nourishment, and sustenance, to the mind and the soul. "Coffee is the number one drink in the world, everybody drinks it, even little kids in Mexico drink coffee… it is the lifeblood that drives the dream of champions." Iron Mike Ditka in Kicking and Screaming. That is Super Bowl Champion Coach Iron Mike Ditka, what other proof do you need?

For the Defense of Tea, please read the fantastically entertaining Blog of Thog, a writer without compare, and a tea drinker +Mike Raven!

*Just kidding, I love the British, the Welsh, the Scottish (mmm, Scotch Whisky) all of the United Kingdom. I had no part in throwing the tea in the harbor.
** I know, it was from the movie "Kicking and Screaming" but I never let a little fiction stand in the way of making a point, and as far as any of us know, that is exactly how Iron Mike feels, who wants to question a guy with nickname "Iron Mike?"