don't ask me why, it's just like oren month around here — and that's a good thing.
in a year when the mermaid has been forced to close stores and revamp its format, notice that o, who is the very picture of the independent specialty roaster-retailer, has managed to hold his ground. it's true he is closing 1 store, but that's only because the landlord greedily refused to come to an accommodation on a decent lease. welcome to mall-hattan real estate 101. . .
so. i was dancing tango at my fave triangulo milonga where a nice german journalist was writing something — who knows what? — about the nyc tango scene, which is in fact huge, and she was going on and on and on about my newest pair of velvet tango shoes. to be honest, i do not have the world's most awesome tango shoes.
i have the same comme il faut's everyone else has. i agree, it's a cult, a very sexy cult. . .i mean who doesn't want to be "firmly nailed, never disappointing, can do it backwards, and always looking fantastic?" and of course they're 4 inches tall. what's the point if they're not 4 inches? but i digress.
returning from the milonga after the jounalist's enthusiasm, i was heartened to find a nice box of oren's freshest patiently waiting on the doorstep. it contained not only his ethiopian longberry harrar, the famed beowulf espresso with just a touch of a certain special something to ensure it cuts through even whole milk, but also what seems to me the cleanest, least twisty yemen mocha i've ever had, as well as — that this seems like almost an afterthought shows you how shockingly good o's current coffee line-up really is — the rightfully revered la minita.
another thing that's not widely appreciated about the beowulf i think is how it also survives syrup quite well. this is an artifact of o's long retail experience. it can be really be a downer to make a nice espresso for someone from a fantastic, subtle bean, only to have them ask for the vanilla syrup and then solemnly note that they can't "taste the coffee."
in fact we coffee lovers tend to want to strangle such people. i confess that even after long experience serving coffee to the-otherwise-well-meaning my fingers still twitch when this happens, and i have to put a lot of effort into carefully smoothing my the skirt of my alberta ferretti dress instead.
but there we go. such are the perils of having friends: as professor dr. robin hanson might say, coffee isn't about the caffeine. thus the beowulf: not only it is fine coffee, but it's kept me on decent social footing with quite a few neighbors. highly recommended.