Tuesday, June 1, 2010

coffee talk...

coffee talk...

dipping diagonal, buttered toast
in milk and coffee at the age of six;
coffee from a mug and toast
eaten every morning before school,
the smell of milky coffee breath when I breathed
on the back of my wrist and then sniffed it;
smooth Maxwell House blend in the blue can,
with the tipped cup and last drop graphic,
on weekends relished with the contents
of a large brown bakery bag
toted by my two bachelor uncles;
crumb cake, poppy-seeded hard rolls
with plump little noses on top which
I would tear off, butter and eat first;
coffee served in translucent china,
at wedding showers mostly in May,
sipped demurely by the bride-to-be
from under a white paper plate hat
pierced and decked with ribbons and bows;
coffee consumed at weddings with layer cake,
cruising the tables to finish uneaten icing
while grownups danced off their drink;
buying Eight O'Clock 100% Arabica beans
at the grocer and having them noisily ground,
dial set to drip, by the hefty machine mounted
at the end of the steel check-out counter;
the smell of the roasted, crushed beans
in the red bag wafting up from the bouncing cart
all way home from the A&P across town;
Sanka, eaten bitter and bone dry off a spoon
or sprinkled with sugar onto buttered Arnold white,
tasted no better dissolved in hot water
than the Pero that was served to us children at night;
the cranked, wall-mounted burr grinder
received one Christmas by my mother,
which woke me every morning all through high school;
buying whole Bokar beans “vigorous and winey”
in the black bag and puzzling the check-out person
because I did not want them ground up;
coffee ice cream from Grunnings in South Orange
(the peach in season and lemon were also divine)
was well worth the walk from Irvington and the half jog
all the way home in summer with my sister Judith;
a cup of coffee was like a “cone of silence”
absorbing the sound of bad news as well as good;
coffee cooked up in my father’s tall, shiny, aluminum percolator
(we were never permitted to scrub it clean),
which became my mother’s percolator when I was eight years old;
I remember comprehending quietly over a cup of coffee
brown-black and glistening like a coffin
that my dad would not be going to or coming home
from the hospital in an ambulance or taxi ever again;
I have been dunking bread in coffee all my life,
softening the crust and trying to decipher fortune
from the swirl of drying dregs at the bottom of the cup;
toasting with my husband over breakfast,
we clink our honeymoon Black Dog Café mugs
brimming with local roaster delights
and toast to luck, love and happiness,
on weekends at breakfast over rice cream cereal,
with melted sharp cheddar on top and
bright yellow turmeric-scented scrambled eggs;
remembering with gratitude, workers
who poke holes in soil, plant beans, sweat and harvest,
growing dreams and solace for people they don't know
more than half a world away…
lucy meskill

I credit my mom with making a coffee-lover of me, she made one hell of a cup, you could stand a spoon up in it, yet it went down easy as a smooth summer rain. I would rather do without, than drink a bad cup of coffee!

My husband and I are avid, yet moderate coffee drinkers, our three most favorite local Coffee roasters are: Small World Coffee in Princeton, N.J. , Rojo's Roastery in Lambertville, N.J., and Homestead Coffee Roasters in Upper Black Eddy, P.A. All three are quite different from each other and fantastic in their own distinct way. My favorites are: from Small World, Rocket Blend which is a very a smooth, clean, scrumptious eye opener; my favorite from Rojo's is Midwives Moonshine, a rich, delicious breakfast coffee with a slow jolt and steady energy burn; and last but not least my favorite from Homestead is their Steady Eddy Decaf, a wonderfully delicate yet deeply toasty evening blend.

1 comment:

  1. love this coffee talk / deep and rich and dark as night / love the memories ... #haiku <3<3<3