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It's A Cold, Cold, Cold Day Here in Kansas City!


“Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.”

~ Thomas Jefferson


Good Morning My Confidants!


As I write this it is 8* below zero here in Kansas City.


The Three Bears have decided to stay inside.


Noah offered to run to Oddly Correct yesterday and pick us up something, but we have really good coffee at home, so I saw no reason for him to go out in this and that we should stay snug and safe instead. Same for today. Or as snug as we can be.


It is beyond the argument of if you like cold weather of hot weather. There comes a time where temperature extremes are dangerous. I hope nothing bad happed last night for all those people that went to the Chiefs game.


I'm not even going to go to church!


Why is it—when the days are now getting longer—is this the time of year each year where it gets SO cold? I'm sure there is some scientific reason, but—shrug—I don't know what it is.


Our kitchen pipes are frozen and RBear installed heat tape last year. But thankfully the bathroom pipes are working, and we have coffee!


And speaking of coffee....


I grew up waking up to that wonderful smell filling the house. It brings back wonderful feelings of home (and I'm grateful that home was something good). However, I never liked coffee. I wondered for most of my life why in the world coffee couldn’t taste even partially as good as it smelled?


I've talked about some of this already here at "Good Morning My Confidants," but considering coffee was one of my inspirations for this blog, I figured it didn't hurt to say a little more....


I found, in years gone by, that if I added a ton of cream or milk, and sugar, to coffee that liked it. Quite a bit in fact. But why not just have tea? Because wasn’t that the way you were “supposed” to have tea?


But then....


Fifteen years or so ago I started a job where the shifts were twelve hours long and I had to be there at six in the morning. The only way I could wake up and get myself going was with coffee. And so, I would doctor it up plenty and it would wake me up and I would get through the day.


I think—no, I know—that is why so many people like coffee. It isn’t the flavor; it is that POW! that wakes them up in the morning and I have heard people praise it for that purpose since I was a kid.


But tea can wake you up, right? The thing is that you have to make tea and it's involved. I've never heard of a Mr. Tea Maker.


I have heard my British friends talk about how there was a comfort in the ritual of making tea, but for me personally, it was just getting in the way of me drinking it! But with coffee you can just easily set up your coffee maker before you go to bed—scoop the pre-ground beans into the top of machine and set the timer—and you get up barely awake and it’s already there, waiting for you, with all of its wake-you-up-magick.



Working at that job and all the jokes and memes about “don’t disturb me before my coffee!” started making since in those days!


So drinking coffee is what I did, even though it wasn’t something that I enjoyed.


And then....


I discovered—through a good friend—that very freshly roasted coffee beans that you don't gring before you are ready to brew it, makes a difference n taste. That it took that bitterness away. I found it hard to believe, but I was desperate!


And so I tried it.


And I mean, boy howdy and vive la différence!


Did you know that Starbucks sells more milk that actual coffee? It’s to cover up the taste.


The coffee I first fell in love with came from a place called The Roasterie and it was coincidentally right across the street from where I worked.


And they did tours. I went and it was so amazing. I learned a lot about coffee that day!


Then I read an article in a little free newspaper that comes out once a week in Kansas City called The Pitch. It featured a store that had just opened less than a mile from where I worked called Oddly Correct. I checked it out. And WOW!


They grind the coffee right as you order it. It’s coffee that was roasted the day before, two or three days at the most. It is roasted in very small batches. Then they do something extraordinary...


They take this thingamajob (that's its technical word 😂) that looks a lot like the funnel-basket where you place your filter and coffee-grounds in the top part of your coffee brewer. They put this thingamajob (actually, the correct term is pour over brewer) on top of a ceramic mug. Then they put a brown filter in that, pour in the grounds, and then very, very slowly pour extremely hot water in a spiral pattern over the grounds from a special pourer-pot (called, appropriately enough, a pour over coffee kettle).


To repeat, vive la différence!


It's a lot of work, but it helped me understand the British and their ritual of making tea a little more.


Then came the biggest surprise. Oddly Correct had no creams. No half-and-half. No sugar. No sugar. No sweetener of any kind. They explained real coffee didn’t need such additives any more than a good steak needed a sauce to cover up the taste of the meat.


I was pissed. Sounded like pure bull to me!


They encouraged me to drink it.


Their whole mission was to be an anti-Starbucks and teach people how wonderful coffee really was.


But no sugar? I thought. What about the bitterness? Even The Roasterie coffee I had learned to love had some bitterness.


But I had already bought my coffee. Why not try it? I didn't have to drink it, right?


I tried it.


And was I stunned.


Not one teeny tiny bit of bitterness. Not one. Not a hint. It was almost sweet.


And those claims of "notes of flavor"—similar to the ones that wine tasters make—that a batch might, say, start with a cherry candies flavor as it hits your tongue, and then progress to sweet yellow bell pepper, go to white grape juice and end with a lingering floral/hoppy finish?


It was true!


OMG!


Thus was born a lover of coffee. Real coffee.


One of the owners of Oddly Correct is a man named Gregory Kolsto who said, "Oddly correct got started out of a dissatisfaction of working with entities that were not willing to put quality first. And it was not an angry frustration but an opportunity to begin something that we could get behind 100% in terms a philosophy and culture and quality."


And I will surely be talking about coffee "culture" in the future!


And The Roasterie and Oddly Correct, and all that I had learned about coffee, were the inspiration for my novel Hound Dog & Bean with its coffee shop called The Shepherd’s Bean.


You know, they have cream now. But only for their steamed drinks like something called a Gibraltar (which is heaven, you must try one. It's to live for!).


In fact, Greg told me that coffee has been referred to as “God in a cup.”


And hey, I sincerely believe that God is everything, why not coffee too?


Now when I travel and go to another city, if I get time to explore, I try and find a roaster and bring back a bag of something roasted in that city. I often bring home wonderful treasures.


And interestingly enough, as I said, I have found a sort of understanding of how the British take comfort in their making-tea-ritual.


There is something about going downstairs opening up that little bag of roasted beans, the wonderful smell wafting up at me, scooping out the right amount into the coffee grinder, pressing the button and listening to that sound, spilling the grounds into the filter, pouring the water into the machine, pressing that brew button, and listening to the drip drip drip of Mr. Coffee doing his job. And then the pour.... Ah! Heaven!


Therefor....


Today (and always) I am grateful for coffee!

After all, it’s God in a cup.


Namasté

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

Jan 12, 2024, Entry #012


PS: If you would like to try Oddly Correct's coffee, and I highly recommend that you do, they have a website here where you can find out more about Oddly Correct, who they are, as well as peruse their coffees and more at that site. Have fun!



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Wonderful story, and almost makes me want to try coffee again, and I know it may be sacrilegious, but I'm going to stick with my mountain dew in the morning. L o l

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💚 Maybe you can write something convincing me that stuff is drinkable! LOL!

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I’ve replied with my own journey to finding coffee I enjoy on FB. Here I will add for you that Starbucks was a game changer for me along with lattes at a hometown pizza place. The flavor is part of it and I’ve also discovered I require a lot of milk. My DH and I split press pots in restaurants. We both do a few grains of sweetener but he adds a splash of milk while I need café au lait (half milk). I do without sweet but not milk. BUT I love when someone has a good passion especially when it evolves. And I adore a great coffee shop.

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I honor your experience. I will say that I have enjoyed Starbucks' frothy hot drinks or their milkshakes. But I do still say that isn't coffee. That is coffee flavored drinks. But who cares? As long as you enjoy them?!

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