Saturday, February 18, 2012

Your morning cup of awesome

Hi there! Just a quick rant on coffee, because why not?

If you're anything like most North Americans, you probably need a decent cup of coffee in the morning to get your motor running. Lord knows I do! Now, I've developed a caffeine sensitivity over the years, so I'm limited to 2 cups a day (albeit I've been known to drink 2 Large-sized cups a day from one of the 8 million coffee shops near home and work). With that limited capacity for consumption comes a heightened sense of discerning taste when it comes to what kind of java I want in my mouth. In downtown Ottawa, most people get their coffee from one of the following purveyors: Tim Horton's, Starbucks, Second Cup or Bridgehead The standard Tim Horton's is swill, Starbucks is meh, Bridgehead's dark roast tends to have a lovely caramel-molasses aftertaste (reminiscent of sponge toffee), while Second Cup is more chocolatey. And, as far as local purveyors go, Bread and Sons make the best brewed coffee around. But I find nothing beats the coffee you make at home, if you have the right coffee and system.

Now, like most people, I have a cheap Mr. Coffee that makes 8 cups of decent brewed coffee. I usually get President's Choice West Coast Dark Roast. But this does not a cup of awesome make, more like a cup of sufficient...

Looking back on the various cups of Joe I've had over my lifetime, I have to make a confession: when I was in university and still living with my parents, most mornings they'd make a pot of coffee stronger than Thunderlips. And they'd usually make it at 5 in the morning. By the time I got to it around noon, it had turned into a viscous grey-hued brew of doom. And that was how I liked it! So, my coffee palette was underdeveloped. At least until I moved to Vancouver for a few months and started making coffee using roasted and sold at a local Portuguese cafĂ©. My method was to simply place the grounds in a conical drip filter over an empty cup and pour hot water over the whole thing. It was really really tasty and up until recently, that was how I drank my coffee when camping.

But it wasn't until I met the lovely and vivacious Kari that I discovered the best cup of coffee in the world is actually Turkish Coffee! Turkish coffee is a preparation where you take ultra-finely ground coffee, out a tablespoon or two at the bottom of a cup and pour boiling water over it. You let it sit for a while and all the grounds sort of gel at the bottom. This stuff is so good that I don't even put any milk or cream in it; it's the only cup of coffee I've ever had black. Now, granted that she gets the "good stuff" straight from the owner of Byward Fruit Market (I don't even know if he sells it to the public!), but if you get a chance to try Turkish Coffee from a reliable source using the best beans possible, DO IT! You won't regret it. Just remember not to drink it right away unless you like a mouth full of coffee grounds...

So, that's MY morning cup of awesome. What's yours?

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