This morning, I let Ross sleep in. I kissed him on the forehead and I padded downstairs, craving a cup of coffee. Now, despite the fact that I used to work at Starbucks, I am certainly not a coffee addict. I can function perfectly well without a morning cup, and I like tea just as well. But this morning, I wanted coffee.
I paused at the sink for a moment, trying to determine exactly what I wanted. I had half a bag of ground coffee I'd bought at Aldi, and it was perfectly acceptable, but I wanted something else. Ah, I knew. There was an unopened bag of Breakfast Blend, whole bean, in my cabinet. And grinder I hadn't used since I left Starbucks. And a French press, unused, given to me by my mother-in-law.
I take a detour here as I tell you the following: I know that the purest form of coffee is fresh, and freshly ground, and made in a French press. I know that one is not supposed to freeze coffee, as the ice crystals form, then melt and spoil the flavor. I know that coffee is best when used within a week of opening. I know all this from the time I spent learning at The Siren's feet - er, tail. Still, one of the first luxuries I relinquished when I left was the very thing I enjoyed: fresh, pure, high quality coffee. I've gotten used to drinking whatever is available with - sometimes - flavored creamers.
I feel like a sinner.
But today, I decided on the purest of the pure. I opened that bag of coffee and all the best memories I had from Starbucks came swirling back in a fragrant cloud. I used to love grinding Breakfast Blend in the early hours of my shifts. To me, mild South American coffees smell like sunshine. I love that the coffee has a nutty zip that bites back - a friendly way of saying 'good morning'. I used to get made fun of because, though I was a hard-core Americano drinker (triple tall, one raw sugar, no room, thanks), I preferred the tangy mild coffees to the murky, thick swamp-like Asian coffees. I used to joke that Sumatra smelled to me like kitty litter.
Still does, actually.
Oh, Starbucks, why did your delicious daily brews go the way of the dodo?
I remember feeling personally affronted when the company decided to change from their "coffee of the week", which offered a bold, a mild/medium and a decaf brew each day to their now-infamous "Pike Place" blend. I remember tasting it and sensing my heart drop. It was the beginning of the end for quality coffee. No more medium options for those of us who think French Roast smells like a garage. Left and right, then, options were slashed. Suddenly, several varieties, including Komodo Dragon Blend - my step-mum's favorite - were only available seasonally. I panicked. Then along came VIA, their "ready-brew" (read: instant) coffee option. Tasty, yes, but absurdly expensive.
This is why I switched to Taster's Choice, okay?
Breakfast Blend, and the late Colombia Narino Supremo will always reign in my heart as the Kings of Coffee. Never forget. Never let go. Fight the good fight, mild coffees. I will be with you always.