Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I really love coffee and it's a big part of any day for me, certainly including work days (which are most days!). My library houses a barely acceptable regional chain cafe, but my standards and sense of economy have risen to the point where I basically never use it. I have my own small espresso machine in the break room. It is the cheapest available machine to meet my minimum standards. In moderate or cool weather I make cappuccinos or lattes on it. I will make drinks for co-workers, but it tends to be more in a special occasion situation than as a regular occurrence. I enjoy the elaborate, but not overwhelming, process of making a lovely creamy drink for myself. I love the little five minute break. I enjoy looking forward to it. I love the even-if-it's-just-a-minute calmness of making it and taking the first sips of its perfectness, that little bit where it draws me back to myself, a hard thing for me to get to in the work place. On the drug side of things I really appreciated the unevenness that caffeine can bring to my day. Really. That steady baseline has always tended to drive me down, and knowing that I might have one or two periods in my day where I can blaze through all kinds of superhero nonsense, be productive, wild, manic, flourishing, makes the parts of the day where I stare foggily at all the books everywhere and take 15 seconds to determine whether to say "Good afternoon." or "Good evening" when I answer the phone, strangely enjoyable.

Oh, and how good coffee smells!

I am idiosyncratically snobby about coffee, which is to say real espresso aficionados would rightly laugh at my absurd abuses of the stuff. I do know the best cafes in town and in Rome, so there, and I only buy and drink organic coffee from reputable roasters. I buy ridiculously good organic milk stolen out of the bodies of pasture fed cows. On the other hand I have no grinder, will sometimes use astonishingly old and dead coffee, and I make shots with a supreme lack of properness on a very cheap machine.

In the heart of summer I thrive on an entirely different sort of coffee drink of my own invention. Tomorrow I'll play like a cooking blog and tell you about it then.


  1. This is making me really want a cappuccino right now.

  2. Thank you for the coffee entry. I find to be one of the pleasures of life, as long as I'm careful; and sometimes I'm surprised to find what seems like a pedestrian coffee to be quite lovely. I always admired the people who could have a bit of coffee in the afternoons and carry on w/o the wigginess I endure in that case, and often the sleeplessness.


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