My Journey into the World of Coffee

Today, I think I took another big step in my descent (or rise) into the [potentially snobby] world of coffee drinking. I made my first pot of pour over coffee by myself.

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Sidenote: I just realized that this is my second out of not that many blog posts about warm beverages. Sorry, okay not really, cause you’re not held captive to reading my musings.

Making a pour over is not a big deal in the hipster, coffee-loving, wealthy world where I’m living; however, for me it was eyeopening and a marker of where my coffee journey has gone and a bit of a game changer.

First off, let it be known that I still am a tea lover too, I’m kind of cheating on tea but I’m still sticking with it. A cup of English breakfast tea every morning is still my #1 morning jam. I’ve always been more of a tea drinker and intentionally tried not to get hooked on coffee. I figured that if I didn’t like the taste, why would I get addicted to it. Also, then if I actually needed more caffeine & I wasn’t addicted, the effect of drinking a small amount of coffee would be much bigger. So I haven’t ever invested myself in trying to like it. Even through college & working full-time + part-time+ grad school, though I have gulped it down on occasion when in desperate situations.

My new found coffee love started in Europe. Go figure. I drank my first cup of coffee that I fell I was head over heels for in Germany and then got addicted to cappuccinos in Italy. I mean, if you’ve had one, you know.

I can’t even adequately described how good this beverage tasted. The coffee was so smooth. It tasted almost like tea in it’s purity and was so flavorful, slightly bitter but not anything like the bitterness of the coffee I’ve had in the US. Then add some steamed milk, bam. No sugar needed! (for the record, I drink black tea but could not really handle the black coffee I’d had in the US because it’s so bitter) No wonder Europeans seem to all be managing their weight better 🙂 We stayed at a friend of my travel companion’s home in the Italian countryside and there I was introduced to the Moka pot. It seemed so easy to make delicious coffee ON YOUR OWN STOVE. I stocked up on coffee and bought a Moka pot, one of my few souvenirs.

When I returned to the states, I naively tried a cappuccino at Starbucks hoping to once again experience the glorious taste of European cappuccino. That was a mistake and it tasted like burnt coffee with milk. I also tried to use the Moka pot but didn’t fully pick up on the habit enough to have fresh coffee on hand or get in a habit of perfecting the art. So I remained a tea drinker. On occasion, I would drink a flat white from Starbucks because it had a lot of steam milk and I got used to the burnt tasting bitterness.

A brief synopsis of how I went further down the slippery slope: met my now husband who liked coffee and has had more time on his hands this year 🙂 so has really gotten into making it, got hooked on fancier brewed coffee at some local coffee shops and my family’s houses, etc. We also took a trip to the PNW (pacific northwest) & had some delightful coffee there which pretty much solidified the growing love for Good coffee. Husband bought a Chemex and makes legit coffee on the weekends. I still drink tea and at some point started having a cup of early afternoon coffee from our pretty upscale coffee machine at work. <<<Thus, here I am.>>> Joining the club with the rest of the world and am now feigning the aroma, the taste, the warmth of a “cup of Joe.” Wait, that anecdote doesn’t sound fancy enough for the coffee that I am craving. It’s more like a “Cuppa Java” or something. If you want to know the meaning of cup of Joe, I just got curious too (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cup_of_joe).

The point of no return and reason I found myself googling “how to use a chemex” is that we had a snow storm & I got 3 days in a row of delish made-with-love pour over coffee courtesy of my husband. And when I got a craving for it today – I decided that watching a instructional Youtube videos and going home and making a cup is the perfect lunch time activity. I made the cup and it was fun! And I may Still be running off of energy from it, woo.

The most stressful part was honestly that I didn’t watch a video of how to fold the filter or dump in the coffee (you literally just pour the fresh grinds into the filter lol).

But I figured it out. Tonight, the husband asked me ALL about it and enthusiastically shared his tips.. I had obviously never really bothered to learn enough about his process to make it myself. But now we can be coffee nerds together, I ‘spose. It’s kind of an expensive hobby but in moderation, it’s actually cheaper per cup than splurging on a latte. After our long discussion with all the details I would’ve normally not listened too, I realized that we are SUPER NOVICE in our preparation of fancy coffee. Okay, he is moving towards an intermediate level but apparently people know the most appropriate water temperature is for brewing a bean depending on the altitude in which it was grown. WOW. These people know so much. They are crazy. I want to know all the things that they know about coffee. I should also say that we are already behind in our technology for pour overs, there’s some sort of fancy contraption that’s better than the Chemex or V60 but I can’t remember the name for the life of me (after hearing it probably 10 times).

My next steps are as follows:

  • practice my pouring technique
  • learn more about different types of coffee beans
  • read up on coffee tastes and brewing methods to know the words to say about the coffee-related things
  • follow all of the crazy coffee people on Instagram

Feel free to judge or secretly curse me for making time to brew fancy coffee and also finding a bit of time to blog about it. People use their time for worse things & I’m currently fulfilled/feel good about my life schedule 🙂 

These are my Confessions (Part 1)

There are just some random things in life that happen… and we ignore them because it just feels better than facing them. Today I’m looking at the dirty deeds of my currently “super straight-laced on the verge of boring life” right in the face:
-I haven’t even told my coworkers this though I tell them most things. But the other day, there was a black pen on the tp holder in my bathroom stall (you know – MY stall). And I figured it was mine cause I always lose pens & it’s my stall & who else would have the same pen that I got from the supply closet our entire floor shares. I pick it up, get back to my desk, not my pen. Nothing about it creeps me out much, I think it’s funny, but other people have major phobias about anything that came out of the public restroom so I’ve kept it inside. But there, I said it. Also, I’ve picked up much more suspect things & assumed they were mine before like hair ties. Cause no one else uses the same black generic kind that I do & drops them anywhere I may have traveled, right? And if anyone wondered, I haven’t been using the pen. I think I will let it happily rest on my desk until someone needs to borrow a pen and then there will be a pen waiting for them to be used.

-I’m obsessed with warm beverages, maybe even addicted to them. I realized this when I took my mug home to clean it & didn’t bring it back to work. At this point, the warm beverage doesn’t even need to contain caffeine, flavor or warm milk in it, though those are treats in my warm bevs.

I love pretty much every warm bev that you can think of

– (green, white, black*my fav, red) tea, (decaf & light roast mostly) coffee, cider, probably would like warm lemon water though I haven’t yet done that.. I’ve found a way to keep the routine with my hot drinks mostly healthy. I don’t sweeten them and am trying to limit myself to one cup of caffeinated coffee per day. The rest of my daily warm bevs are so I can hold the warm mug. Smell it. Sip it. Feel the warmth on my throat. Then in my stomach. Ah. Obsessed. I should take an inventory of my routine. Lately it’s been black tea as soon as I get to work, coffee late morning or early afternoon, afternoon peppermint tea or decaf coffee, something else scrumptious before I go to bed (though I haven’t fully moved into my tea before routine that fades a bit in the summer). 3-4 drinks actually seems to be on the low side/less than I would like in an ideal world. And a ton of water so no wonder I spend half of my day in the restroom.
Some afternoons, I think that I am hungry but all that I needed was green tea [note that I do not substitute actual nourishment in this way.. just fend off cravings].

As it turns out, I’m not the only one obsessed. This writer said almost exactly what I wanted to but more eloquently. And there’s a scientific study that holding a warm drink creates a perception that you are friendly. Boom done 🙂

Also, in a quick google search about this subject I stumbled across this person. She’s a kindred spirit it seems, blogging about knitting and hot drinks (displaying her full URL to her blog post cause it’s awesome): http://knittyblog.com/2011/01/obsession-hot-drinks/

I’m pretty sure that that blogger, like my grandma & I, probably likes her food “piping hot” as well.

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This was an amazing cup of coffee in Seattle. My favorite cup ever though was probably at our random stop through Olympia, WA.

Wow, that became a lengthy love story. I love soups also of course but not with the same equivocal love as I have for a warm drink.
I better confess a few other things: I have 4,279 unread messages in my inbox and 15K messages, good thing I just got married & can get a new Gmail account! Ain’t nobody got time to keep up with their personal email. I am still undecided on what I want to change my name to and I’m planning to make a game time decision..hopefully the SSA office isn’t too scarring that I just go crazy. Back to my previous post, I would probably eat a Pizza lunchable every day if they wouldn’t get expensive/lead to an early death. I want to be the kind of person who would kill to go to outer space but honestly, I don’t think I would want to be an astronaut anymore even though I’m sad about it. Is this normal? Does everyone else want to travel to space? I’m blaming Mark Wahlberg & Sandra Bullock. I actually like watching golf on tv. There’s nothing like taking a good nap to that quiet talking in the background and then waking up for the final holes of the tournament and crying as the winner celebrates. I If I could just transcribe notes all day or take word per minute typing tests, I think I would be happy. I did get an A in keyboarding (on typewriters – which by the way you can still buy at Office Depot, you’re welcome). I think I like the instant gratification and the feeling, maybe it’s related to playing piano somehow too.

Okay, out for now. Thanks for letting me get some things off of my chest.

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