Raw, noun: 13. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.
This morning I woke up to find Nob Hill blanketed in fog. My heavy eyelids and heavier head stumbled into the kitchen pantry in pursuit of that morning cup of comfort, only to find an empty container with a few teasing grounds, not even close to enough for one pathetic cup. In yesterday afternoon's adventures I'd forgotten to pick up another bag of grounds at the Ferry Building. So here I was, groggy, exhausted, craving that rich warm java smell filling up my flat on a cold and foggy Monday morning off, and there was nothing. Torture!
So I threw on a wraparound sweater and pulled a cloche low over my eyes and trudged out to the corner market for some java. Threw down some cash, plodded back up the hill (so much steeper sans-caffeine), cracked it open and poured some into the waiting filter. And voila! Breathing again.
Serious drama at the coffee-less Rach household this morning. So it was only appropriate to hit up Salon for my morning fix and find this little interview about Michaele Weissman's newish book on specialty coffee, God In A Cup. Love it. The article's a little high-maintenance for my tastes; I mean, who really gives a shit about these frou-frou $130 beans? But Weissman's talk of third waves and craft and aromatics and whatnot is interesting nonetheless. Not unlike the doting attention given to wine in these parts. And Weissman addresses the problematic question of whether Fair Trade is really so fair after all.
For me, good coffee is less about the bitterness or aroma or whether the beans were shipped in from Guatemala this morning or ground before my eyes ten seconds ago; it's more about the moment and the place and the scent and the memory; the jagged edge of the mug from that cafe in Vienna where Marx used to write with Engels, or the tattered paper cup from the gas station in Illinois where I used to stop for a midnight jolt when doing the long drive from Nebraska to Delaware, or the lingering French Press at that dimly-lit restaurant after dinner with that mysterious man, name long forgotten, or the Folgers Instant Brew sipped hungrily in the weak light of an Edinburgh morning reading the Guardian while the mice scurried along the baseboards, or now, the early ritual that starts my day with quiet and reading and a splash of cold soy as I look ahead to what's coming in the next several hours and catch up on the news from the world.
Wish I didn't love it like I do. But I do. So bring on the java.
Good to the Last Drop (Salon.com)