COFFEE NOW, COFFEE FOREVER

I picked my potion more than 30 years ago and it is COFFEE. 

Mr. Coffee and familyI grew up amidst coffee drinkers. My mother was Head Coffee drinker because she didn’t just love having her cup of coffee. She loved everything coffee. Coffee milk, coffee ice cream, coffee-flavored cakes and cookies. She began the morning with a few cups of coffee, to jump-start her day, then eased down by adding more and more milk until it was officially coffee milk.

As a kid, I didn’t like the taste of coffee. Which my mother could not comprehend. There were so many things about me she could not understand. Like how come I couldn’t sew, crochet, knit, sculpt, hook rugs, or play ice hockey. And why I didn’t love coffee.

It turned out, I would eventually love coffee, but not until later. The rest of it? Nope, sorry.

I went to live in Israel when I was 30. Everywhere in the middle east, coffee is The Brew That Is True. It isn’t only that everyone lives from one caffeine fix to the next. Coffee is ceremonial. Coffee is how you welcome guests.

This is how it works. As long as the coffee continues, you are welcome. When tea is served, say your good byes and go home. If you are in an Arab household (or the household of anyone who observes Arab or Bedouin customs), this is important to know.

Mediterranean boiled coffee, also known as Turkish coffee, Greek coffee, Armenian coffee, Arab coffee, Bedouin coffee … and who knows how many other names — with or without cardamom — is boiled in a special pot. A feenjon.

feenjon coffee pots

These little round pots come in many sizes. You put in whatever amount of coffee you want to serve, add enough water, usually a good dose of sugar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, boil to a rising again. After the third rising, serve. It’s an honor to get the froth.

This is very strong coffee. I don’t know whether it will put hair on your chest, but it will probably strip the paint from your car. It was the first coffee I really liked.

turkish coffee with cardomom

Shortly thereafter, I discovered Israeli “upside down” coffee which is a variation on a theme of café au lait. Eventually, I just loved any good coffee and still do. Because there’s something about coffee and nothing else hits that spot.

My day does not begin until I have consumed at least one big cup and I’m not ready to deal with reality until I’ve gotten half way through the second.

My brew is coffee.

My second choice? Some other version of coffee.

After that? How about a cappuccino?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

31 thoughts on “COFFEE NOW, COFFEE FOREVER”

  1. I’m not a coffee person. My wife gets up every morning and makes a pot. I don’t understand it. Caffeine is better cold and carbonated.

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  2. I also drink all kinds of tea–black, green, and herbal. I can’t drink coffee all day, but nothing beats a good cup of coffee. You know you’re drinking something.

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    1. Tea is for when you have O.D.’d on caffeine, in which case herbal tea is all that’s left in the hot beverage department … or you are sick. Otherwise, bring on the power beverage! Breakfast of champions! Coffee!

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  3. I love Arab green coffee, so much that one of my students long ago gave me a tiny gold pendant in the shape of a Dallah, an Arab coffee pot. 🙂

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        1. It’s actually still one of our favorites and definitely one of the top two or three most quotable movies ever. No matter how many times I watch it, I still can’t remember the whole “Vessel with the pestle” rap. It’s like “who’s on first.” It sounds easy, but it’s not 🙂

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          1. Hawkins: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?
            Griselda: Right. But there’s been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!
            Hawkins: They *broke* the chalice from the palace?
            Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
            Hawkins: A flagon…?
            Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
            Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
            Griselda: Right.
            Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
            Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
            Hawkins: The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
            Griselda: Just remember that.

            Found this, along with a bunch of other great bits from that movie here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049096/quotes

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  4. When I saw this prompt this morning, I thought, “Marilyn is totally going to write about coffee.” And here we are. 🙂 I do love coffee, but I don’t have to have it. I do find my mood is better and I am a little more sparkly when I do partake; however, my caffeine tolerance is low and I can quickly go from being really happy to being really sick.

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    1. I can only offer my sympathies. When I was in the hospital and horribly sick, the one thing I asked was that Garry and my friend bring me a good cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts, which was across the street. They did. I drank it. It helped my brain if not the rest of me. Sometimes, a woman’s gotta do what she’s gotta do 🙂

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  5. Funnily enough I didn’t drink coffee until around ten years ago, but now I’m a big fan! I’ll be popping some into the cafetiere in a few minutes, in fact.
    I had a suspicion your response to this prompt was going to be about coffee 🙂

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  6. I too love my coffee. However I’m not keen on 100% Arabic a bean blends. Living in a country with more coffee roasters per head of population than anywhere else, I have learnt to appreciate the wonderful flavours and aromas that different blends give us.

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    1. When we had a more money, I used to try lots of different blends … but living on social security, I feel grateful I have coffee at all. I try to get the best coffee I can for the money and I think I do pretty well … but I miss being able to try different blends and I especially miss my antigua-guatamala, which I know isn’t exotic, but I used to really love the flavor of it. It was a great morning brew.

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      1. I understand how living on a benefit can restrict your options. I haven’t been able to work full time for fifteen years and not at all for six years. I don’t know how coffee is priced in the U.S. but fresh roasted coffee (whole bean or ground) costs between $4 and $9 per 200 grams here. Imported ground coffee is somewhat cheaper, but it is usually 100% arabica beans. I like a little robustica to add complexity 🙂

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  7. Feenjon.., there was a cafe in the Village, Greenwich that is, named “The Feenjon” where middle eastern music was performed almost every night. I loved going there as it was so energetic.., probably due to all the coffee served. I was a coffee baby.., loved the smell every morning and begged to have some. My mother finally relented and made a special “Coffee Milk” brew for me. Finally I felt I was a part of things around that house.

    To this day I have tried almost every way there is of making a satisfying brew.., Automatic drip, Chemex and Melita manual pour over, Vacuum, French Press, Cold brew, Espresso etc, etc, but never had the nerve to try “Cowboy” coffee ( I think similar to Turkish).

    This morning I tried something new using a new device (bought on impulse) and a new concept for making coffee. The Dingus is called an “AeroPress” and despite everything you know, and believe, about brewing coffee you must try this cause it’s different. $25 at Bed Bath and Beyond buys this little wonder, If you have one of those 20% off coupons, use it. The speed of making a cup will blind you, Temperature 185 degrees F, 10sec stirring the grounds, 20sec plunging and Voila! one of the best cups I’ve ever had. No! it’s not a French Press as there is no steeping involved, it simply forces the water through the grounds and a filter at break neck speed instead of allowing gravity to do it for you. The grind is on the fine side, different from French Press. Follow the directions and ignore the little voice inside that says “no, no, no this is not right”.., I didn’t the first time and it failed.., tried it as advised the second time and WOW!. You just gotta try this thing.., I’m hooked.

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    1. Sounds like a cross between middle eastern boiled and French press. I don’t have a coupon, but I’ll check Amazon where I have all kinds of discounts. Anything for a good cuppa. The thing is, Garry drinks more coffee than I do, so if it doesn’t make a LOT of coffee, the competition might be a bit fierce 🙂 I’m gonna check it out!

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      1. Not boiled as the temp is below 212degrees F, and below the recommended 195 – 205F for normal extraction. The “AeroPress” recommended temp is 175 – 185F. Like I said, It goes against everything you know, so don’t try and categorize it.., and not French Press as the grind is fine. French press grind is coarse. BTW no sediment either. Believe me when I say, this is really, really different.., I’m still quite surprised that it even works. If Garry ever gets ahold of a cup and tastes it.., you are in trouble and you might have to buy two “Dinguses”. Granted, there is a slight “fiddlededee” component about using it, but it works so fast and the taste is so good that you will soon forget any initial hassle. The one thing you may have to deal with is Garry trying to get up without disturbing you so he can have the first cup. Frankly this could cause a rift in your marriage,,. but you didn’t hear it from me. Yeah.., I think you should buy two of ’em!

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