Thanks in the main to Starbucks, we Americans may be coming into an appreciation of coffee as something simply delicious. Until recently, and maybe still for most of us, coffee is regarded as something to be endured. It is a drink of compulsion for those who simply need the caffeine. It is a drink of habit for those who need to have some libation in hand as an aid to conversational stability, keeping one from fidgeting or doing obscene and disgusting things whilst in communication with others. It is what one gives a drunk before he drives home so that he may at least be an awake drunk when the constabulary takes him into custody. Next morning it will not cure a hangover or make one feel better after a grand evening of excess. Face it. The only way to obtain relief from a hangover is to have another drink, for the hangover is but withdrawal from the bodyís craving for alcohol and that into which the body metabolizes alcohol.
I am reliably of this belief for the reason that if coffee were otherwise regarded, it would taste better. It would not be allowed to sit rancifying in a pot for long periods of time, its oils turning into some stomach lining eroding poison. It would not be something given away in restaurants and not the producer of any income stream, for which reason restaurants buy coffee for cheap prices rather for any pleasure giving properties.
Coffee doesnít have to be that way. It can be better than good. It can be delicious and rich and invigorating and pleasant and a gastronomic thrill.
I used to think that espresso was the apogee of good coffee, that highly charged Italianate rocket fuel that the hyperkinetic denizens of the Apennine laden peninsula consume for the purpose of fulfilling their hourly recharge Ďere they slow down and become less frenetic. Who wants to be around a laid back Italian?
Then Starbucks came along and it was like the opening of clouds and the enlightening of that void that theretofore was called coffee. Someone actually figured it out. Imagine that!
Like any pedestrian, I simply drank one blend of Starbucksí coffee or another, delighting all the way. Then I started to become jaded, unsatisfied simply to grind some Starbucks blend or other and consume the product of its being brewed in a one pass system. Then, as any chef seeking some higher experience, I started blending Starbucks blends until I hit upon something so wonderful that it must certainly be the coffee that God insists upon each morning to refresh Him/Her after another twenty-four hour cycle of neither sleeping nor slumbering.
And, as in the instance of anything that is divinely inspired, I am compelled as a sacred duty to share it with you. You can thank me later.
Mix together in a large container one pound each of Starbucks Verona Roast, French Roast, Yukon Blend and Italian Roast beans. Rebag that mixture into the bags the beans came in. For each ten cups of brewed coffee, fill a coffee grinder (like a Braun or Krup) to its capacity and use that grind in a filter basket to brew the coffee.
Thatís it. Thatís Chef Muldoonís and Godís own best cup of coffee ever.
Every now and again, like if youíre serving coffee after a meal, you might take a channel knife and strip away several strips of lemon zest and put it into the pot before you start brewing the coffee. Thatís delightful. A mere touch of your favorite sweetener is OK. Cream should be shunned. You lose the delicious taste if you cream it.
Itís the best bargain luxury you will ever try. It only costs about one dollar per pot of ten cups of coffee.
Remember. You heard it here first.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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