Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Taste of Coffee

There is something special about sharing a cup of coffee or tea with a friend or family member. We almost always want to have a cuppa while we visit. It seems to help make it a relaxing atmosphere where we can laugh or cry together, pray together, catch up on the latest news or just sit together in silence. Let's pretend we are sitting on the porch swing enjoying the outdoors as I tell you about my journey with coffee.

When I was a child, every morning as I came into the kitchen, I would smell the coffee. It was such a tantalizing aroma, I thought it must be a very delicious drink. My mom liked it black and piping hot. My dad wanted it to cool quickly so he could drink it right away with his breakfast and then head to work.

Every day I asked my dad to let me taste it and every day the answer was a no until one day he said I could have a sip. I remember the wide mouth, light blue plastic cup he used. In would go the coffee and then milk and sugar. I think he used a lot of sugar. I carefully lifted it to my lips and took a sip expecting to relish the taste.

Guess what? I did not like it at all.

To tell you the truth I think it was because it was so sweet. It certainly did not taste like it smelled. From that day on I decided I didn't like coffee. Even after I was married I would hardly ever drink it. While my husband had his coffee I would drink a glass of milk. Once in awhile I would have a cup of coffee if it was being served with a dessert, but only rarely did I enjoy the taste.

Sometime after my second child was born I began to acquire a taste for the dark liquid. I always put milk or a little dry creamer in it and a little bit of sugar until my sister-in-law introduced me to half and half. After that I didn't want anything else in it. I began drinking coffee most every morning with a little half and half and no sugar. That is the way I still like it today many years later.

What is it about coffee that so many people must have that first cup in the morning?

Is it the caffeine or does it just become a habit we can't do without? I usually only have one cup a day, but sometimes will make exceptions. Our taste in coffee has evolved over the years. My husband and I tried several kinds and for a long time our favorite was Folgers Columbian. Nothing else would do.

That was before we tasted organic and fair trade coffee.

We have a local roasting company called Leopard Forest Coffee Company. Even their decaf tastes good. We always buy the beans and grind our own. One of our favorite flavors is Highland Mist which is a blend of dark and medium roast. My husband has it almost every day except for occasionally trying other flavors. I will have it when we are out of my favorite. 

My absolute favorite coffee flavor is Jamaican Me Crazy which has a blend of caramel and hazelnut. It is also roasted locally at a place called West End Coffee Roasters. I have it every morning with a little half and half, though sometimes I get the real cream off the top of the gallon of raw milk we also purchase through a local food exchange known as CAFE. It stands for Clemson Area Food Exchange and we are able to get lots of local food through them.

Over the years we have used a variety of coffee makers. 

They included electric and stove top percolators, 12 cup drip coffee makers and those that make one cup at a time. We have even had it made in a pot over a campfire. Our current favorite way of making coffee is with an Aeropress. The taste is oh so smooth and you won't find any grounds in the cup. On top of that it is one of the simplest ways to brew coffee. 

My husband heats the water to a temperature of 180 deg. F, then pours it into the chamber and stirs for 10 seconds. Then he inserts the plunger and applies gentle pressure for about 30-60 seconds and voila! You have espresso or you can add more hot water to make a regular cup of coffee. You can make it a latte by adding hot milk rather than extra hot water.

Mostly I don't like sweet coffee except when it's a Peppermint Mocha latte. They're the best! Occasionally I will enjoy a frozen coffee drink but for the most part we like our coffee strong and hot!

What about you? Do you like coffee? What is your favorite kind and how do you brew it? Do you like to have a cuppa when you visit?

I'm linking up with
#wholemama where the prompt this week is COFFEE.

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