Tuesday, 12 September, 2006

Morning Coffee

Posted in Coffee!, Culinaria at 10:17 am by glpease

The Big Cup

I cherish the morning coffee. I can easily recall delightful childhood memories of the wonderful aromas of brewing cofee drifting through the house on the weekends, and coffee has been part of my life throughout the years. Most days, I can’t even imagine starting off without it. Hot and black, freshly brewed in the French press, a milky, soft café au lait, or a wonderfully rich, thick espresso based caffè latte, some sort of cofee is destined to be my perennial accompaniment to the day’s beginning. I’m not quite addicted; it’s not the caffeine that drives me, but the ritual. There’s something about the grinding of the beans, the brewing of the liquor, the preparation of the milk, the creation of the perfect cup that seems more important even than the drinking of the resulting beverage. It’s an unhurried, careful process that gives a moment’s pause before the too-often hurried hours that will follow. It’s a meditation.

Today, I rose a few minutes too late, dragged the slumbering kid out of bed, got his breakfast, made his lunch, cajoled him into getting dressed, dressed myself, and drove him to school. Something wasn’t right. On the way home, everything just felt heavy; I felt out of place. Could it be the residual, weighty pall from the solemn atmosphere of yesterday’s anniverary of the tragic events of five years ago (I’m sure that had something to do with it), or was it something else? I couldn’t shake the feeling. About half way home, a shining ray of clarity briefly penetrated the cloudy skies of Early Morning Fuzzy Thinking (EMFT); I had neglected my morning observance, the daily psychic ablution that washes clear the haze of slumber. Drat.

Once I got home, I set to work grinding beans (today’s, a deep, dark French roast from Peet’s), filling the stove-top espresso maker, an Italian Moka Junior that I’ve had for years, puting the milk on to scald. The Solis grinder (I still think it should be named Solace) liberated the enticing, pungent, smoky aroma from the beans, perfuming the kitchen in that familiar way, awakening the olfactory senses. Soon, the soft hiss of steam and gentle percolation of the bubbling fluid stimlated the ears. A finger dipped into the mik told me it was just right. I frothed it, built a caffè latte in the Big Cup, and took the first sip.

Suddenly, the day seemd a little closer to right. Even if, one day, I was told I had to give up drinking the stuff, I think I’d spend those few minutes each morning making a cup. Rituals are good for the soul.



  1. iansforest said,

    Greg I’m with you on this one 100%, it is indeed the nectar of the gods!

  2. Tony Ferrill said,

    I spend at least an hour each and every morning with the coffee pot,tobacco,and prayers outside.I am up at 4AM most days;it is the only quiet time this old man is allowed,it seems!
    I have been using Folger’s Columbian blend,strong,in a Cuisinart drip machine for years.I am sorely tempted at times to go to one of the fancier machines.But then I realize that this is good coffee,and my satisfaction level is already very high.My wife puts it together for me the night before,times it for 4AM,I don’t see how it could get any better!
    I only wish I could handle a bowl of Odyssey this early……

  3. Bradley said,

    Greg, as much as you enjoy coffee you have got to get yourself a true espresso machine and start roasting your own beans. Cruise over to coffeegeek.com for all the information you need about equipment and sweetmarias.com for your green beans. I have been home-roasting with Hearthware roasters–now on my second one–for about 7 years and purchase green beans in 25 lb bags–terrific savings! I started out with a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine and moved up to an Isomac Millenium. My espresso is as good as anything you will find at a cafe with a real barista–thick, caramel colored crema all the way to the bottom with that wonderful “Guinness effect.” The flavor is so good it doesn’t even need any sugar.

  4. Steven Ciesicki said,


    “Last comes the beverage of the Orient shore,
    Mocha, far off, fragrant berries bore.
    Taste the dark fluid with a dainty lip.
    Digestion waits on pleasure as you sip.”

    -Pope Leo XIII, excerpt from the poem “Frugality”

  5. Felix Cappuccio said,

    gregory i think that the ritual of making the morning cup of coffee keeps you sane i am up at three thirty am every morning do to the nature of my job.i my self love the eight o clock brand of coffee i grind my own every morning i put ice cold water inthe pot brew the coffee drink it black and very simple there is nothing like it. lets take it one step futher i always think about what i am going to put in the pipe at the end of a days work pause. prehaps some gl pease tobacco.-sincerly yours Felix Cappuccio

  6. glpease said,

    You guys are great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Great quote, Steven.

    Bradley, as soon as I am done with the kitchen, an espresso machine is my reward. I worked it into the budget!

    But, sometimes, it’s the simple black coffee that’s best; Tony and Felix have nailed that simple joy spot on.

  7. jared andrews said,

    My former roomate and I both beleave that a morning is just not right without coffee and latakia, alas a Peet’s is now just across the street from the tobacco shop I work at here in Denver, Damn I love thier coffee! I have become a regular in just one week, and brew it at home, it’s gotten so bad that my wife say’s “You had better be sleeping with someone there, to justify spending this much time and money with’um!” well I am not…..having an affair with anyone at Peet’s except the french roast, or that wonderful blueberry-like tasting (Ethiopian I think, beans). but even with the cheaper robusta bean coffee there is something to this bean &brew that I and my grandparents before me do love.

  8. Patric Dean said,

    I have worked in a coffee shop for 9 years or so, good coffee is a must for the starting of my day. I worked for The Badass Coffee Co. of salt lake for 6 years, i must say i miss the kona coffee.

  9. Rev. Eric Melby said,

    Morning coffee, afternoon coffee, coffee with my GL Pease blends….they are all important! JS Bach was a lover of pipes and coffee, and he even wrote a cantata about it. I am enclosing the url to iTunes where one can hear snippets of it. I bought it and downloaded it and it is really nice to listen to while surfin’ and sippin’.


  10. rikrdo said,

    Greg ..
    LOVE your creations !!
    Not sure if you’ve purchased your espresso machine yet….
    but in the mean time you must buy an AEROPRESS.
    I love coffee as much, if not more than anyone and I must say that coffee from the Aeropress is some of the best I have ever tasted.
    Buy one today….approx $30 USD.
    You will thank me later…..possibly with one of your special blends.
    Take care and keep uo the great work !!
    (BTW….I have no affiliation with the company that produces the Aeropress)

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