Ground to Perfection

Call me an idealist, but I firmly believe that food and drink just tastes so much better when it’s fresh.

We’re quite fond of visiting local flea-markets and antiques markets on weekends, although prices at the latter usually bring with them a look-but-no-way-we-can-afford-to-buy-anything policy.

I’m always longingly eyeing up kitchen stuff, especially the old-fashioned coffee grinders.  Despite being more of a tea drinker, I’ve always found them rather fascinating as kitschy remnants of the past.

Today, we finally took the plunge and bought one.

Shops are closed on Sundays in Germany, so we swung by our local Starbucks and picked up a pack of medium-bodied Latin American coffee beans.

To have coffee in perfection, it should be roasted and ground just before it is used,” Isabella Beeton advises, ‘’and more should not be ground at a time than is wanted for immediate use…’’

The beans came pre-roasted, but we were able to do the grinding ourselves.

It took 4-5 minutes to grind the appropriate amount of beans to match the quantity my boyfriend normally gets through first thing in the morning (a lot).  It’s useful to be reminded that modern conveniences (which contribute to the expectation that everything is ‘instant’) are just that, and not something that is simply pulled out of a hat – or shopping basket – without someone or something doing the work for us to make life easier.

I tend to be more enthusiastic about food and drink than my boyfriend, but he seemed to enjoy the novelty of grinding the beans and watching them turn into deliciously-scented grounds.

I have to say, the kitchen smelt heavenly while the coffee was brewing – fresh, fresh coffee is such a fabulously-homey scent.  I actually enjoyed the process of preparing the grounds and waiting for the coffee to brew, instead of merely pressing a button and doing something else while I wait.

To me, the coffee tasted far better and fresher than the pre-ground variety.  But my boyfriend is the big coffee drinker in our household, so I hand over to him for his measured assessment:

”It’s nice.  I’m not saying I don’t like it.  It’s alright.  It’s nice. It’s good.’’

High praise indeed.

I can see this becoming a weekend rather than a weekday activity.  But that’s OK.  I’d hate for such a pleasurable little ritual to become snoringly routine.

More on Isabella Beeton’s advice about coffee: http://www.mrsbeeton.com/36-chapter36.html

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