Thoughts on Coffee

I really like a good cup of coffee. I enjoy everything about it: the smell when the bag or can is first opened, the rich texture and color of the grounds, the sound of the percolater (or the burbling of a drip coffee maker when it’s almost finished), the aroma as it brews, and, last but not least, the taste. I like my coffee either straight out of the pot, or with both sugar (well, Splenda, actually) and cream (I prefer the hazlenut flavored liquid creamer), but I don’t like it with only sugar or only cream.

I’ve had coffee in many different places. I’ve had cafe au lait and espresso in France. I’ve had cafe mocha in the Swiss Alps. I’ve had Jamaca Blue Mountain coffee brewed in a French Press in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. I’ve had no-nonsense, brewed-by-the-cup coffee in Germany, with heavy cream and raw, brown sugar. I’ve had Starbucks, and Seattle’s Best, and Gloria Jeans, and several other “coffee shop” coffees around the US. And of course I’ve had coffee at home and at the homes of several friends  But the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had was at the Dean & Deluca store in SoHo. It was a cup of cafe mocha, with whipped cream on top, and from the first sip it was just so far above anything I’ve had before or since that I can’t wait to get back to New York to get another cup! Note: if you click on the link to the Dean & Deluca site, once there click on “About Us” at the bottom of the page, then on “Store Locations” in the upper right of the next page, and finally on “New York” in the upper right of that page to see a photo and read the history of the SoHo store.

One-cup drip coffee maker from Melitta
Slick one-cup drip coffee maker from Melitta

These days I drink primarily half-caff or decaffeinated coffee. On the occasions that I do drink the “real” stuff, I have to limit myself to one cup, or about an hour later I’m buzzing so badly it makes dogs howl. Hmmm, that’s probably more than you really wanted to know. Anyway, we have a Cuisinart 14-cup coffee maker that is the best coffee maker I’ve ever seen. If I only need to make one or two cups, though, I use this very simple device that I got from the Melitta web site quite some time ago. This one-cup drip coffee maker from Melitta sits on top of the cup or mug and uses a #2 filter (a #4 filter will also work it just sticks up higher). Add ground coffee – I use two tablespoons for a normal size mug – and pour boiling water through it. In a few minutes, you have a great cup of coffee! Highly recommended, if you can still get one.