Ever-conscious of your delicate sensibilities, I have been sparing you the details of my ongoing search for coffee beans that aren’t burned to a smoking black crisp, rendering them devoid of taste other than of the charred dead remains of what was (presumably) once an actual coffee bean.
Once upon a time, I got my coffee from Whole Foods. This was after a 12-year Coffee-Free-Phase, punctuated by the carefree caffeine-free taint of Several Small Children Inhabiting Parts of My Body for Months At A Time. So after 12 years of this self-denial, I decided to sow a wild oat or two and start drinking coffee again. That’ll teach ’em! Caffeine denial, PAH! So I went to Whole Foods, got the least-blackened beans they had, went home and ground them and poured hot water over them in my French press, then added sugar and cream and went ahhhh.
That’s the sound of satisfied self-indulgence.
And life was good.
So about a year ago, picking up where I left off but now not as close to Whole Foods, I searched online for Not Burnt Beans and found some. Sumatran! Himalayan! Coffee bliss!
Except, not organic. Not free trade. Not shade-grown. Not guilt-free.
I kept drinking what I had, though, eliminating the sugar and the cream and using rice milk. Still good. Still not burnt.
But the guilt.
So the search.
Undoubtedly you know of at least 11 purveyors of organic free trade shade grown coffees that aren’t burnt to the point of tasting like ass (why is this so hard?), but they are few and far between in my experience.
First place: Yes! We have “light” roast! Give us your money! We are enticing! Look!
Result: ass. Blackened, burnt ass. Liars.
Second place: Yes! Look! Mmm, the aroma, the flavor! “Light”! We can tell you anything as long as we qualify it in quotation marks! Entice! Spend! Give us money!
Result: ass. As a kid, this is what I thought coffee tasted like. Is this what most people drink, this murky bitterness?
Desperate run to the [non-Whole Foods] grocery store: Why? Why do I bother?
So yesterday I tricked Serena into a Food Procurement Foray, and we stopped at Whole Foods to get chocolate for Nathaniel, organic cream cheese to go with smoked salmon for Matthew, and crackers that are only sold at Whole Foods and why why why do I buy them for Eric.
And at the last minute I remembered that they have coffee there.
This morning, then, this was the sound: