Saturday, December 17, 2005

Making Coffee

How hard can it be to make coffee? Making coffee should be easy. Right? Not if you don't have the right help.

First off, we delegated the grinding to Chiu (Chew). Tim told him to grind it until there is a high pitched sound. He told him something like: "A free-wheeling sound from the grinder tells you that the beans have been pulverized and ground to a fine powder consistency." I didn't know this. I usually just look through the plastic window. If I don't see any partial beans, I know I'm done.

The grinder at my work is stainless steel. I'm not sure it makes this sound. One thing is certain, I grind up the beans until the coffee rises in small chocolate brown puffs of fine powder.

Meanwhile Tim prepared the coffee machine. It's a Bunn machine. A very fine machine indeed. Did I mention that we are over someone's house for dinner and we offered to make the coffee. This place it VERY nice. Oak cabinets, granite countertops, all new appliances, including this coffee maker. Lynn gave us the go-ahead but she didn't know what she was exposing her kitchen to.

Anyway, after grinding, Tim loaded the coffee into the top filter affair. He's over there measuring exact spoons of the black gold.

"Tim" I yelled over the grinder's second batch, "Just dump it all in."

He gave me various objections but in the end I convinced him to abandon his careful measurements and dump that batch and the next one coming. This stuff is a finely ground Kona blend. He consented.

All was going well, and it smelled great from where I sat, which was by the grinder. The pot was around and behind the fridge.

We turned to the others now engrossed in deep conversations of Mice and Men. But suddenly I saw Lynn blurring past me diving in the general direction of the black liquid-making machine. She was screaming something unintelligible. I'd never seen anyone get so excited about a Kona blend before.

But alas, it wasn't the blend she was excited about. It was her counter and cabinets. It seems, and we aren't clear who's at fault, that someone overfilled the filter with finely ground beans. The drip funnel couldn't keep up and so overflowed an oozing oil-black coffee. The wonderfully fragrant beverage began to pool on her granite counter. A reflection of her new oak cabinets above shown in the liquid's mercury mirror surface.

We stemmed the tide of oozing oil from reaching the back-splash and side cabinets using Costco pallets of paper towels. My hands still smell of wonderful Kona coffee.

We loaded up the pot for a second round. The finished hot oil-black coffee was wonderful with the homemade flan and New York cheese cake with strawberries.

At least now the new kitchen has been christened. But, of course, we may never be invited over again.

“No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.” -Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)