Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick Quip 3/26/09

I don't know how people live without coffee, I really don't.

Martha Quinn

Most American think they have a divine right to a cup of coffee in the morning and at certain times during the day. Ironically, coffee beans only grow near the Equator. So coffee is not an American product. There is only one state in our nation where they grow. If you want the true, red, white and blue American brew you have to go to Hawaii. Of course, there may be other benefits to doing that. I don't know, I've never been there.

We have the Muslims to thank for our coffee. It was first discovered in Ethiopia in the 9th Century. Some curious Arab pried open a pod and found two beans inside. He sniffed, tasted and decided it was good. Coffee spread throughout the Muslim world quickly. And eventually reached Europe. The Europeans brought it over here with them but, alas, it wouldn't grow in stubborn North American soil. As a result all of our coffee is imported, from Africa and South America.

Coffee houses were the rage when I was in school. You could order fancy things like cafe au'lait, mokka mit schlag, espresso, cappucino and feel very sophisticated and upper class. My friends and I favored the Mozart Cafe in Harvard Square where every time we entered we caused a sensation. (But that's another story.)

Today you can go into Starbucks, pay way too much money for a well ground and cooked cup of large coffee which you get in a cardboard or styrofoam cup. Be careful taking off the lid, you might scald yourself. Milk and sugar is on the side. You have to serve yourself and clean up after yourself. How's that for class?

One day I was on my way to a recording session and I wanted a cup to lubricate my vocal chords. I stopped in a place and asked for a coffee to go. They pointed at a row of urns with various titles; maple, nutmeg, mocha, blueberry, I don't know. I turned and walked out. I found the Greek place. I was in and out in 3 minutes. If you want a coffee, without all the fashion frills, find the Greeks or the Arabs. They know from coffee.

Think happy thoughts about old friends as I just did.


Linda's World said...

Personally, I've never had a taste for coffee but if I do drink it I 'water' it down with the original flavor of liquid CoffeeMate. And I only drink decafe. If I'm going to have caffeine, I'd rather have a Dr Pepper, Pepsi or even a Coke. I remember going to Coffee Houses too, sitting on old apple boxes and listening to weird music. (That's as close as I got to being a hippie!) I do get a Starbucks, like once a month. They are on every corner here in my area. Even inside the larger grocery stores. I just had a happy thought of my teenage life in a post I just finished. Linda in cold & dreary Washington

SILVER said...

i'm so with you, DB!

Those "brand Coffee Places" are just places where you pay a bomb so you can "be seen" .. and the coffee really isn't anything great either..for the amount you pay, really.

Coffee is coffee- when i need it, just give to me quickly, without all the frills, pls!

Ally Lifewithally said...

You have taught me a lot about coffee ~ things I never knew ~ Starbucks charge way too much for a CUP if you can call those plastic things cups :o) ~ I have only been in one once ~ Now there is a little stall in the Market place in Norwich that makes a great cup of coffee at half the price and in a real cup :o) Ally x

salemslot9 said...

I went to Hawaii with my folks when I was a teenager
I don't remember the coffee
but, the mai tai was very good

Myra said...

I love coffee...but not those fru fru lattes, mocha-chinos BS! Starbucks has the worst coffee in the world, and the price...fuggitaboutit! We make a cold concentrate and make a cup at a time during the day, and a pot of coffee in the morning!

Arlene (AJ) said...

Coffee, not my thing, I'm a tea drinker, my husband says I'm addicted to tea. Normally have a cup from the time I wake until I go to bed...I'm one of those who will nurse a cup of tea for a good 5 hours before I have another. Just enjoy the soothing taste over the stronger coffee taste.

Beth said...

The only times I drink coffee are as iced coffee (not very often) and a cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.

Janice said...

I hate the smell, I hate the taste, I hate the way people's breaths smell when they drink it, I hate the way it makes people's teeth look, I hate anything with coffee in it and I especially hate it when people make dessert with coffee and forget to tell me. I like tea.