Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On Coffee

There's nothing I like better than fresh coffee, and few things that offend me more than this penchant for flavored coffees that corrupts the atmosphere in the coffee section of the super. Coffee does not need to be dosed with refuse from the essential oils industry.

I'm speaking in particular of the folks from Millstone, who promote flavored coffees that smell like a whore's armpit. Now I know where all the surplus pine tree air fresheners go-they're ground, roasted and sold as Millstone Hazlenut coffee. As if that wasn't enough they have a row of bottles of some ungodly synthetic glop strategically placed so that you can assault any stray granules that have unaccountably escaped dousing in Millstone pimp oil.

I prefer freshly ground and brewed coffee. I keep the beans in the freezer and run it through a Kitchenaid burr mill. Then it's doing its thing while I'm shaving.It goes off flavor in about thirty minutes so out it goes. The worst mistake that can be made is to use the grinder in the coffee section-it is invariably polluted with Millstone Ground Pine Tree Air Fresheners, and it will ruin anything that gets passed through it.

Once you start grinding your own at the point of use you'll never go back to preground stuff like Folgers. I buy moderately priced arabica stuff, nothing fancy (8 O'Clock, 39 ounces of beans for ten bucks) at the super.

Back in the day when Mother went to the A&P they'd grind the coffee for you at the checkout in a great hulking Hobart mill-a civilized custom that made the store smell really good. That was before people decided that they wanted coffee that smells and tastes like a pine forest.

Get your own Kitchenaid A9. A burr mill works a lot better than the cheapie beansmashers. It evenly sizes the grounds and doesn't overheat them. You won't be sorry about this, trust me. Plus it was designed by Egmont Arens, famed industrial designer of the 1930s and it is a nice piece of machine age sculpture.

Mine's from 1940 but it's just about the same as the new ones.


At 9:10 PM, Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

My supe at work roasts his own green beans. A year ago, I brought him back a few pounds from Cameroon, and we were amazed at the flavor. It was like blueberries! If I drank coffee regularly, I guess I'd get a roaster of my own.


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