Midweek @ Musings: How I avoid turning into a goat

“Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat” ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

J.S. Bach was a coffee lover.  He even composed a piece about it, the satirical Coffee Cantata.  I’ve always loved Bach’s music, and after learning of his Coffee Cantata, I found a kindred spirit.

I went to the dentist for my semi-annual cleaning the other day.  “Do you drink coffee?” asked the hygienist, as she was chiseling away at my incisors.  Sigh.  This question comes up every time.  And I suspect the answer is bleeding obvious, too.  You’d think they’d just make a note of it in the file and save their breath.

So, yes, I love coffee.  And not just any coffee.  I like strong, brewed coffee.  Here’s where it all happens at home:

In front are my favorite 12-oz ceramic mugs. These are large and sturdy, and don’t tip over.  Behind the mug on the right is a travel mug — an essential companion on my daily commute (all stereotypes about Americans and car cup holders are, unfortunately, true).  At the back left is our trusty automatic coffeemaker, best for making large quantities of this wonderful elixir.  To enter my house, an automatic coffeemaker must satisfy two criteria:

  1. Programmable timer, so my morning coffee is magically ready when I come down to breakfast, and
  2. Thermal carafe, so the coffee can sit for hours without developing the burnt taste that comes from sitting on a hot plate.

Our 10-cup Cuisinart Grind & Brew Thermal has both of these features, and it grinds the beans.

So why is there a coffee grinder next to the coffeemaker?  Because the ultimate cup of coffee comes from a cafetière. If you want a truly delectable cup of coffee, this is hands down the best method.  There are many internet resources describing how to make coffee using a cafetière, also known as a French press (examples:  here, here, and here, with video).  I became a fan of the cafetière when we lived overseas.  We had difficulty finding an automatic coffeemaker to our liking, but we did find a 1-liter cafetière with a thermal carafe.  The only thing missing was the programmable timer.  🙂

Today, the cafetière is my preferred method for a mid-afternoon coffee break with my husband. We have two models at home: in the above photo, there’s a small cafetière on the right, which makes a nice 12-oz cup.  Next to it, somewhat obscured by my travel mug, is a 1-liter glass model.  Now, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a single-cup Bodum Travel Press in my local Starbucks (see photo on right).  This one lives in my office, with a bag of ground coffee close at hand.  Perfect.

Coffee made in a cafetière is so fresh, and tastes far better than anything produced by our automatic coffeemaker. It feels elegant and special, and always reminds me of our time abroad. As Ilsa said in the classic film:

“Thank you for the coffee, monsieur. I shall miss that when I leave Casablanca.”

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10 thoughts on “Midweek @ Musings: How I avoid turning into a goat

  1. Oh, how refreshing to come across another coffee enthusiast! I looked up Bach’s Coffee Cantata on youtube and listened to it while I read your post. 🙂

    I’m with you on the programmable timer – I don’t know how I ever lived without one. It’s about time for us to get a new coffeemaker and I think I’m going to have to look into one with a thermal carafe.

    I solved my tooth problem by getting a Philips Sonicare toothbrush. It’s a bit expensive but worth it. Since I started using it two years ago I’ve had nothing but glowing comments from the dentist. 🙂

    On another note, I see that you’re reading “A Shilling for Candles.” That’s on my list to read as it’s one of my long term goals to read all books that served as the basis for Hitchcock films. His 1937 film, Young and Innocent is based on this book.

    • Thanks for the tooth-brushing tip! 🙂
      Yes, I’m reading A Shilling for Candles as part of The Classics Circuit blog tour. My review will be published June 6.

  2. I adore coffee and have taken to enjoying it only away-from-home so that my finances keep my habit in check (it would flourish uncontrollably were I to buy my beans by the fair-trade pound). This morning contained a particularly delectable iced americano with an extra shot, served with a side of Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal. The only thing better than coffee is coffee enjoyed with a good book at hand!

  3. I am not a real coffee enthusiast but my husband bought a French press when our coffee maker broke, and we’ve never regretted it. The taste is just so much better.

    • I agree, Jeane. When we started using the French press again (after a few years tucked deep into a cabinet where we’d forgotten about it), we found it so luxuriously delicious! I suppose if we made all of our coffee that way the novelty would wear off. I like using it as a “treat.”

  4. My son has a French press and swears by it, but I’ve never tried my coffee that way. But I do have a coffeemaker that grinds the beans, and I never want to go back to buying ground coffee!

    • Florinda, you’ll have to ask your son to make a cup for you! And I agree about grinding the beans — I buy ground coffee to keep in my office but we use whole beans at home.

      And don’t even get me started on instant coffee *shudder* !

  5. Coffee! What an excellent literary topic. I sometimes wonder if I could read or write without it. Who knows but that our entire literary culture might endure permanent writers block, should that dark muse no longer teach us to sing!?

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