You could say I was a late bloomer.
Well, not when it comes to boobs. They made their awkward appearance in the 3rd grade.
But when it comes to coffee, I really missed the bandwagon.
It amazes me to think that I didn’t drink coffee in high school, because I was always running from some practice to some club meeting. None of us drank coffee at that time… that I know of anyway, it just wasn’t the cool thing to do. In college, when I feel like most teens become philosophical hipsters chained to coffee shops, I was content to order a hot cocoa from Starbucks.
It wasn’t until I moved to Seattle that I even knew what an espresso machine was. I moved from my aunt’s house, where I perfected my foam, to a french press, to a $15 coffee machine from Target. You could say I moved backwards.
The thing is, I have never really taken into consideration the taste of coffee, I just liked that it made me happier, more energetic and all around a nicer person to be around. Reading the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo books, I couldn’t understand how those characters drank copious amounts of coffee everyday. Then I realized that Swedish winters are just as dark and dreary as Seattle’s. Coffee makes those long, dark days of winter bearable.
As someone who is prone to, and therefore petrified of, addition, it’s difficult for me to admit that I have officially become addicted to coffee and caffeine. I’m at a three cup a day average. I feel like on par with the Gilmore Girls and their coffee consumption.The first cup gets me through my preparations for the day and my commute. After an hour or so at work, I start hankering for my next cup. Then around lunch time I start pining for my final cup. I still can’t have caffeine after 3pm or I’ll never get to sleep.
Recently, I became interested in cold brew. To me, there’s nothing worse than drinking a hot cup of coffee and walking outside to a humid hot day! My first try was surprising… it didn’t taste horrible! But I got a little ambitious. Too ambitious. I thought “simple syrup” was simple. Oh no! I thoroughly burnt two batches. Then I made another batch of cold brew and it tasted awful. Then I tried different mixes of milk, cream, sugar, syrup… and it all tasted like garbage. After I noticed a white film forming at the top of my third and final brew attempt, I gave up. I’d had enough heartache. I resorted to warm cups of coffee + warm weather in the morning and the resulting frizzy horrible hairstyles.
I had accepted that I was a failure at coffee. That is, until I picked up the Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee book. James is an incredibly charming, highly intelligent, slightly neurotic and quite funny writer. So it wasn’t that painful when he pointed out that when it comes to coffee, I’m doing EVERYTHING wrong.
-Don’t freeze your coffee (but it was on sale…)
-Don’t buy ground coffee (but that grinder noise is just awful…)
-Don’t use a plastic coffee machine (but all I have to do is press a button…)
It’s sad to think that I put so little effort into something I drink literally every day. At least there’s hope for me yet! On the books recommendation of another coffee shop that takes espresso as important as Blue Bottle does, I walked one block (literally) to Espresso Vivace. He was right, it was the best latte I’ve ever had. And an added bonus? They were nice to me. Not one of those snobbish coffee shops where the customers are a pesky annoyance.
And while my mode of making coffee hasn’t changed much (yet), after all, I have lots of frozen coffee to get through. I am planning on purchasing one of these cuties and a grinder too.
But I think I’ve learned my lesson. I will try my darndest to never half ass something this important again! And I promise, I won’t become a coffee snob anytime soon.