a good word about great coffee

Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion…

… that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Isaiah 52:1, “He brews” 6:12
– cappuccino on Lake Como

I want to begin this morning by saying how happy I am that the United States Postal Service gets me. Finally they have come out with a set of new stamps I can proudly display on the front of my envelopes.

Wait a minute though. Correction. That needs to be, “if I actually post anything through traditional mail in my lifetime ever again.”

Coffee is such a good thing.

And fortunately, just at the time in my life when I’m going to need it, the research is telling me that caffein (in heavy doses) is good for… wait a minute… something… I know it’s important… I almost had it there… oh, I know, it’s that whole brain thing… recall… memory.

Or, as an article in The National Library of Medicine put it, “The putative protective effects of caffeine against dementia are of great interest.”

I’ll say.

Also of great interest to me are the restorative effects of coffee against being unable to function in the morning…

It has to be good – and real:

But, caveat, it has to be great coffee. Rebekah and I may be on the verge of retirement, and we may well find ourselves looking for ways to save on the grocery bills, but there will be no compromise when it comes to coffee.

For me there are two principles vis-a-vis coffee that are nonnegotiable:

  1. First, no masking the fact that it is coffee, thank you. You can add your syrupy frou-frou flavors later if you like, via some kind of stir-in or enhanced creamer, but please do not ruin a finely nuanced roast by messing around with flavor additives.
  2. Then, please make it strong enough. If the coffee is too strong for your taste you can add hot water. Weak coffee, however, is beyond salvation.

I like to distinguish my coffees by region, not unfortunate aberrations such as vanilla, mocha, caramel, almond syrup, or coconut. How about this: eat an Almond Joy with your steaming mug of Arabica, or a donut – just don’t make the coffee taste like the dessert bar at the Cheesecake factory.


Some of my favorited regional varieties include Jamaican Blue Mountain, Sumatran, Columbian, Kona (Hawaii), and Ethiopian. Then I really enjoy coffees associated with particular cultures, such as Cappuccino, Café con leche, Café au lait, or a Turkish dark roast. But these creations absolutely taste the best on the piazza in Italy, at a Cuban restaurant in Tampa, in a sidewalk cafe in Paris, or in Istanbul’s Grand bazaar.

– cappuccino in Venice

I don’t believe I have ever had as good a coffee experience as a cappuccino on the piazza across from the Uffizi in Florence, or on the terrace overlooking Lake Como. Unless it was the steaming mug of Wicked Joe’s Rebekah and I shared earlier this morning on the deck after breakfast.

Which of course is the point. The absolute best cup of coffee I could possibly have is the next one I enjoy with someone I care about. Wherever it is.

What’s your favorite roast?

Have an amazing, thankful, beautiful day – DEREK


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