To say that Venezuelans like coffee, to me, is a gross understatement. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of the women in my family gathering over hot cups of coffee to discuss whatever matters of importance seemed to have gained their attention. Unfortunately I could not understand too much of it as it was all in Spanish and at the time my grasp of the language was almost nonexistent, to be perfectly honest that hasn’t changed to much. One thing I did understand and always took note of was this phrase in regards to the coffee, “es tan rico rico” or “ay qué rico rico”. The first phrase translates to this is so rich and the second is oh how rich, with the extra rico to communicate how rich the coffee was. You see Venezuelans, at least the ones that I know, are very dramatic in their speech. The R’s are rolled in the strongest of manners for the longest of periods, which is quite a thing to hear. These women took their coffee seriously, a good cup of coffee seemed to be the appropriate fuel for a good session of chisme (pronounced cheese-may, meaning gossip).
Since Venezuela is a coffee bean growing country, although not as much as before, with beautifully mild climate it seems plausible that coffee can be picked, roasted and ground within a day. In fact I have heard tale of how wonderful this freshest of the fresh coffee truly is, in it there is always some guy (most likely some distant family member) bringing down a bag of gorgeous smelling and freshly roasted bean. Then my imagination takes me away as I conjure up a grand and dramatic passing of this deceptively rustic looking sack from one person to another. In my mind there are angels singing and beams of lights that seem to be surrounding the bag if not being emitted from the bag.But a more sensible me knows that most of the dramatization is a figment of my imagination.
However, I can now attest to you that there is a difference between what we shuffle home from the grocery and the taste of relatively (accounting for shipping time) fresh roasted beans. At the end of September (27th) I ordered from Lot 18 (link is a special invitation to join if you are interested, full disclosure if by chance you join and order something they do give me a credit) 2 lbs. of coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, but I did not receive it till the 29th. Initially I was irked because the estimated time frame to ship was one week. It literally took a month. I am not sure what the hold up was and for some reason they shipped two more lbs., which I received the following week and was instructed to keep as a gift from Lot 18. Despite all the issues of shipping I will have to say that it was well worth it. The flavor was mellow and round, but robust. You can tell that it was fresh, there was no other way to describe it. The only thing I could think of is to describe bad coffee, you know the kind that lacks character or even worse has an odd after taste. I remember working in an office and at 4:20 every hour I would smell this pungent tuna-esque smell coming from the vents. For weeks I had no idea where it was coming from. I shared my office with someone else and we both were stumped. Until one day I caught the culprit in the act, he was making some terrible coffee to try to stay awake (tell my four o’clock isn’t the hardest hour to remain awake at work).
Unfortunately the long wait made me think that they would never receive my coffee. This prompted me to order another set of coffee from Lot18 from the brand Superba. It arrived right after the first Brooklyn Roasting Company shipment, and I have yet to finish the first bag, although happily the end is near. Since the first bag is not done I have not opened any of the Superba, but it smells equally divine. Currently , I now have six bags of coffee. I bet you can picture me sniffing the bags (or perhaps a cartoon version of me) with a big goofy grin on my face. They all smell so good.
Want to know how I prepare my coffee. Well I measure out my coffee, about a scoop and a half for one cup, and place it in the container. I boil my water and pour it into the container. I wait two minutes (I totally use a timer), two minutes is the optimum time to brew your coffee (some wait up to four). Then I pour through my filter. Or you can use a French press if you’d like. I like my coffee black with a little sugar, and of course I care deeply about the vessel in which it is served.
If you are interested in some more official prepping techniques check out the National Coffee Association, link takes you to preparation page.
So anyone a coffee lover? How do you prepare it or what is your favorite style? Mmm…this is making me want a cup right now.