As I sit here blogging @ 6:30 on a Saturday morning, it is about 44/46 degrees outside. In August. It is the perfect day for the perfect cup.
I have brewed myself the perfect 1st pot of the perfect 1st bag of perfectly & freshly ground coffee beans. It is Cameron's Vanilla Hazelnut..fully leaded.
I have to tell you about this coffee for which my heart has longed. About 2 years ago my husband and I decided that we would try drinking coffee. Tony would doctor his up with about 9 pkgs of sugar/sugar substitute and about 1/2 cup of milk. Not much coffee there. But, he was slowly beginning to like the taste. Little did I know that it had become an obsession for him. He was buying it at the gas station and drinking it at the shop with my mom *gasp*....till one day he came home with a travel mug. Where did this come from?? He liked coffee that much? My husband, who swore he would never drink the stuff?
Yes, he liked it that much. So along with his new obsession came everyone's cast-off bags of coffee. 'Oh, I didn't realize you guys drank coffee, here take this, use it up.'.....oh, ok, thank you.
In amongst all of these gems was a bag of Cameron's. It was just regular 'ol coffee. But, by this time we had tried Douwe Egberts and Gevalia and decided they were nasty. So what was one more brand we didn't recognize? I mean, all we saw in the stores were 8 O'clock and Folgers and other pre-ground coffees. We were looking for beans, people!
Cameron's was a head above the rest from the start, we just didn't know it. First of all it was almost a full bag of beans 'handed down' to us by my brother and sister in law. They don't drink coffee and they were pretty sure that it was a bag that was left at their house by a family friend who doesn't drink coffee. (Yes, this is how 'back alley' our procurement of coffee beans was back in the beginning.) And it is not as if we were jumping for joy at the thought of another bag of ultra left overs....but we didn't know how to say no. So we took the Cameron's home. It sat in the refrigerator while we finished off what we were currently drinking. (We were STOCKED at this point.) Eventually, we pulled the Cameron's out and ground up our first batch.
While we were grinding it we noticed that it looked almost woody with large flakes of white-ish coloring. I still don't know the technical terms for those flakes. I'm assuming it's just "coffee". So as I'm watching these beans grind I'm thinking, "Oh great, it's going to be gross." True first thoughts, scouts honor (which would mean more if I had actually made it to girl scouts..I never made it past Brownies). *Sigh* Ok, so I'll make it.
It smelled good brewing. And when I poured my first cup....
The planets aligned. What was this heavenly, nutty flavor on my tongue? A robust flavor with perfect acidity. It wasn't overwhelmed by my creamer. It stood up for itself and declared, "I will not be hidden with artificial flavors and colors!!" It was the perfect cup!
We buzzed through that bag with great joy. All the while thinking that "We'll just get another bag".
Apparently not. Apparently nobody carries Cameron's in stores. And the family friend couldn't remember where he had purchased it. (I didn't know there was such a thing as 'random' coffee purchasing) And at that point, we were not aware that we could just look it up online. (Which I did this morning and bing, bing, bing..there it was. Why didn't I do it before?) So we thought it was a Mnpls/St Paul only coffee (Which, it actually is, but we couldn't find it). Nope, not over there, either. We kept the bag and carried it with us everywhere. Cameron's was never to be found again. Finally we gave up and threw away the bag. We even forgot our first love's name.
So when I was walking through my local grocery store and turned the corner to the coffee aisle and saw the name "Cameron's", I had to pause. Cameron's. Cameron's? Wait....Cameron's!! No freakin' way!!!! So I sniffed and lovingly fondled bags of coffee. (Yes, I unabashedly draw attention to myself in the coffee aisle, to the complete embarrassment of my children) At this point in our coffee drinking we have settled on Hazelnut as our flavor. We don't vary from it. It's our flavor. Anyone who drinks coffee understands what I am saying. So I decided to purchase a bag of Vanilla Hazelnut. (But! Then I saw the baby bags of pre-ground samplers and bought a bag of Chocolate Almond Swiss, too. I know it's not our flavor, but it was cute and it sucked me in! I made a pot of that yesterday.)
Today's first sip of Vanilla Hazelnut inspired me to share with you my journey to the perfect cup.
**Ok, here's something completely random. As a homeschooling mom I'm always looking for validation that I am doing right by my kids. Validation that they are learning and not being left behind and are getting more than I feel they would with public education.
Here are my two validations for this week. #1- While traveling back from my 20th reunion last weekend, my daughter was telling us about something and right there in the middle of her sentence she used the word "scoff". She said it so completely natural that I just sort of burst out laughing. So, then, I had to explain to her that it was her wording, which was brilliant. How many kids use the word scoff, naturally? There may be alot of them, but not in my world. #2-Last night at the local football game the freshman football players were manning the concession stand. They could not do simple math....I kid you not. My SIL gave them a five for a 3-something bill and got $4.25 back.... They could not add $.75 and $.75 together for my and my husband's sodas. My son got popcorn and a soda which came to $1.75. He gave them $2...they gave him $.50 back. So as we are walking away my son sort of laughingly tells me that they gave him a quarter too much (as he's tucking it into his wallet). I stopped him and said "You take that quarter back. We don't keep money that isn't ours and you never take advantage of the stupid."
Ok, yes, I probably shouldn't have said that (and I told my son that I shouldn't have said that)but it was a good lesson for him and TOTALLY validated my position in life as homeschooling mom. :)