Friday, December 24, 2004


mr. right's birthday

i think we all understand the plight of people born around this time -- the dread "combined" presents, never able to have a really rockin' birthday party, etc. -- a situation into which our own mr. right falls.

and with this in mind we here at bccy try to make up for these painful childhood scars by basically celebrating his b'day for these 2 days ourselves.

thus a birthday dinner this evening at the gotham grill, where i hope the special menu will include some kind of super-decadent chocolate dessert.

while others rush off to the matinee or evening performances of the new york city ballet's classic balanchine nutcracker, we're hanging out in a less-crazed mode. which is fine by me, since my taste runs more to the ballets trockadero de monte carlo and shirim's famed klezmer version anyway.

what surprises me more is today's rather intense discussion on alt.coffee about coffee defects and coffee purity. long-time readers know i'm no hospital-clean george-howell type when it comes to coffee.

i will tolerate some earth in a sumatra and some things in a yemen that would make our dear pal oren up-end the coffee sack into the east river.

but i won't stand dirty, inferior, fungus-ridden, defective coffee either. thus when one home-roasting writer notes he's bought some sumatra green, comes home, and finds that the stuff is 50% bug chewed, bug inhabited (that is, the larvae are visible inside the bean!), broken, and deformed blackened beans -- i'm appalled.

if i were him, i'd take the stuff back and demand a refund. yet the advice of the news group is just to pick out the disgusting larvae (i won't link to a picture of these, they are just too awful and you'd freak out), and most of the blacks, but keep the broken.

the thought of the group is that these broken, bug chewed, and defective greens offer "character" to the coffee, keeping it from being "boring." after all, sumatra is a "primitive" coffee, they say.

but the buggy beans have a nasty sour flavor -- not to mention the delicious taste of the worms themselves -- while broken beans are likely to infected with mold and bacteria. . .yummy. that's "character" all right.

to my mind this is like deliberately adding moldy bread to the holiday stuffing. yeah, it won't be boring, but everyone'll be really grossed out. . .

i mean, is this your morning cup or fear factor?

there is, as scaa chief ted lingle's fond of saying, an audience for every coffee. and i repeat, there are some expected quirks in origins like sumatra and yemen that i'll put up with. . .within reason, in "hint" and "pinch" amounts.

a lttle goes a long way here. i guess what i'm finding as i learn more about coffee is that i'm appreciating a cleaner cup more and more, even in origins like the above-mentioned yemen and sumatra.

a clean sumatra is simply a warm, tasty, comforting thing. it'll never be, say, a costa rica or png.

posted by fortune | 1:53 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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