After a busy and bitterly cold week I am looking forward to Sunday.
James and I were shocked and dismayed by the news over how friends and neighbors who are state and public employees are to be treated by Governor Walker. So to take a step back from the crazy world James and I have cleared the calendar off and will relax, read, and drink coffee Sunday.
Well, I will drink coffee. James finds the beverage unpalatable. It is one of the few things we do not agree on. He will make tea and claim to be as pleased as I am……but we coffee drinkers know he is missing something.
I love the smell of fresh ground coffee, whereas James remarks that it smells “burnt’. I love to fill the new coffee pot I bought during an after-Christmas sale, and as it brews pull one of my favorite mugs off a kitchen shelf.
The latest new favorite coffee mug
Coffee is just more enjoyable if the mug is ‘cozy’. We have a variety of mugs to fit every season and every mood. One of my weaknesses is that I see new and colorful mugs in stores and walk home with them. And like a kid have to use that new one when the next pot of coffee is made.
One of the simple pleasures of life is the smell of coffee as it is brewing, followed by the sound of it being poured, while the steam rises into the air, only to be followed by the first sip.
What got me thinking about coffee so much, and the Sunday I am going to enjoy, is because of an article that I read about coffee.
One of the most important coffee markets in the world, Japan imports more than 930 million pounds of it each year — more than France, less than Italy. It’s not a fad. There are coffee shops in Japan that date to at least the 1940s and traditions that reach back even further; it’s a culture that prizes brewed coffee over espresso (although that’s changing) and clarity over body. Coffee is as Japanese as baseball and beer.
Until just a few years ago, much of the coffee gear that made it to the United States from Japan was brought here in suitcases. It wasn’t contraband, just obscure, a trickle of kettles and cones picked up by coffee obsessives or their well-traveled friends who didn’t mind lugging the extra bulk.
One adopter — and importer — of Japanese gear was James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, San Francisco and now Brooklyn. Freeman and his wife, the pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman, recounted a visit to Chatei Hatou, a Tokyo coffee shop where brewing coffee isn’t exactly a ceremony but is ceremonious. They said beans were weighed, ground, emptied into a filter and preinfused with a little bit of water that let the coffee bloom and release carbon dioxide. Cups and saucers were warmed, a slice of chiffon cake was set in the fridge to firm up. Only then was the coffee brewed, slowly.