My coffee tastes have evolved

I like my cup of coffee in the morning—and I like a strong, robust flavour.
Each morning, I go into the kitchen and grind my coffee beans until they are almost like dust. The grinding fills the immediate area with the smell of coffee.
I then fill the pot with water, add the freshly-ground coffee to the filter basket, and turn on the switch. The smell of coffee wafts across the kitchen and up through the house, announcing the morning has started.
Just before leaving my home, I pour 20 ounces into my thermal cup and head off to work, where I’ll nurse that cup for the next two hours. I tell everyone I drink my coffee pure, not to be diluted with milk or cream or sweetened with flavourings or sugar.
I like my coffee simple.
My friend, Sheila Johnson, helped me to start enjoying various different coffees from around the world. It started in her roasting shop over in Ranier, and then moved to downtown International Falls.
Having grown up believing that Colombian coffee was the best in the world, I started to discover a Tanzanian Peaberry coffee grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro was far different than a bean grown in Mexico or Jamaica, or the Kona grown in Hawaii.
Each of those countries all have great coffees with unique flavours. ?
I’m starting to sound like a coffee snob, but I have learned to enjoy their subtle differences.
And I learned to enjoy coffee that had been roasted to a much darker colour over a bean that was roasted to the colour of sienna.
After my son had visited Greece, he returned with 500 grams of Greek coffee. It was a really dark roast and almost had a burnt flavour. When he ventured into the mountains of Ethiopia, he returned with Ethiopian Harrar, which grows almost wild.
That coffee was roasted to an almost black colour, and had a glistening sheen of oil covering the beans.
In Ethiopia, they have small pots that are put into fires and the coffee and water are boiled vigorously, producing a very robust flavour.
My friend, Sheila, liked to mix her own blends and eventually came up with her signature line called “Rainy Lake Blend” now sold out of the Coffee Landing Café in the Falls. It was a mixture of full-roast Colombian beans and medium-roast Mexican beans.
It reminds me of the freshness of an early spring day on the lake and the serenity of the setting sun in a late summer evening.
In the morning, sitting out on the deck at the cabin, nothing is better than enjoying waiting for the sun to rise over the trees, watching the stillness of the water, and nursing that cup of Rainy Lake Blend.
In winter, I like to savour the cup while reading a hard-cover book on a Sunday morning.
When someone arrived at my parents’ home when I was young and coffee was offered, the immediate response was, “Don’t go to any effort. If it is ready, I’ll enjoy a cup but if it isn’t, don’t put a pot on.”
Today we don’t even worry about going to extra effort.
Growing up, my mother and father had a percolator coffee pot. At the cabin, the coffee and water all went into the pot and was boiled. It was strong and at the end of a cup, you were able to enjoy the grounds.
Both took a while to make. Today, however, with some coffee-makers the water is always hot, so the coffee is available in only a few minutes.
And so today we say, “It’s no effort to make a fresh pot.”

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