Paul Delima Coffee

Why Coffee Tastes So Good
Updated Friday 07 July, 2000
by Teresa A. Naylor

Ever wonder why a person just has to have that first cup of coffee in the morning? Do they ask themselves ridiculous questions trying to rationalize the enjoyment and the excitement of that first cup. Questions like, am I addicted to the caffeine or the gourmet coffee flavor? Has the brain gone out the window? Is it habit, or just something a person does before letting the family pet out in the morning. Does it really matter if one has this wonderful starting fluid every day? Will one die without it? Could one possibly strangle the children during the frenzy of getting ready for school if they don't have that first cup? Are we getting every possible antioxidant we can stuff in for the day in one cup? If there is any left over, would the plants like a buzz today? Or, how can the left over coffee be used in a facial? That's silly, there won't be any left over! Would decaf be best for me this morning? That's silly, we're addicted to the caffeine! Which flavor this morning? Coffee or coffee? Pointless questions like these so early in the morning can fuzzy up the entire day!

Serious pondering so early in the morning can make a person crazier than if they hadn't had their morning coffee. Hold on, Let's get another cup. Alright, now with the second cup, it's easier to think more rationally. Let's go over the main event and all that leads up to making a sane decision so early in the morning. There are four basic steps to follow each morning in the coffee ritual and a daily conclusion. The evaluation is vital.

First of all, forget being rational. A normal individual needs coffee, and anyone that gets in the way is dead, or at least in serious trouble. A person needs to instil the concept clearly in the kids, spouse, cat, dog, and mother-in-law. Once the rules are in place, and everyone knows who is boss (the coffee) The addict can go on to step two. If any one of these rules are broken, somebody will more than likely pay dearly.

Step two begins as reality hits when the dyed-in-the-wool coffee drinker stumbles over cat toys to turn the grinder on, and realizes that after pushing the go button several times on the new burr grinder, some helpful person unplugged it. Trying to be calm, they plug it back in, by this time they are awake enough to add the coffee beans, and push the go button again. Amazing! Step two in the morning's ritual is complete. A deep whiff of that fresh ground gold is savored prior to loading the coffee maker, adding the water and pushing go again. Amazing! This little brew station wonder actually works before it's sucked down the first cup of Joe.

Two small sets of eyes peek into the kitchen, glance at the empty coffee cup, and quickly retreat. They know better! Kids already walking and able to quietly sneak into the kitchen weren't born yesterday! They know if THE BOSS has not graced the cup, there's no use asking for Cheerios. Even spoiled pets know there's no use at all sitting in demand position at the fridge for their morning shot of cream prior to any part of this morning ritual. Clearly, all others are second!

Step three is a bit tricky. Once all of the steps down pat and in the order they were designed to be executed, the operator is in CONTROL, and can handle anything that comes along. Step three involves waiting for the pot to stop brewing in order to get on with the process. In all fairness, pause 'n serve is not Hoyle. Let's be clear about this one. By the time the last few rumbles are bellowing out of the pot, there is another cup lined up next to the operator's, waiting for the main stream of steam to stop. Definitely, no spoken words are allowed. Rule three involves who grabs the pot first. This vital part of the process is called "the art of zeroing in". Any serious coffee drinker's kids know that this part of the ritual is very touchy and not to turn on the TV yet, even if it's cartoon morning. Soundless videos are a no-no too, as the strobe of the lights could ruin everything. This is serious stuff.

After the zeroing in process and the initial grab is made, the WINNER must stand there for exactly 3 seconds and suck in the aroma in front of the LOOSER. Any longer than a 3 second wait time would definitely cause serious problems. It's vital to the happiness of the whole day to capture the forlorn look on the looser's face just prior to step 4.

Step four must be completed quickly and most definitely without a moment's delay. By this time, the dog is sitting at the door pawing to get out, the cat is at the fridge in demand position, and the kids have their cereal bowls with spoons in them and the milk set on the counter (They know how far they can push). Step four is an art cultivated through years of practice, perseverance, and, yes, desperation. If step 4 goes according to schedule, the entire day is bearable. It's called the Slurp-Spray-Sip (say that fast!) or SSS for short.

During the SSS, the winner's eyes must be closed, in a swooning pose to simulate delight, with nose up in the air sniffing the floating steam from the fresh brewed cup. The lips must be pursed in the kissing position, better identified as the pucker. Next touch the pursed lips to the top edge of the cup of coffee, sucking in the fresh brew and spaying the entire palate. The slurping-sucking action is a process known among elite coffee connoisseurs as cupping. A true want-to-be master will be holding the delectable treasure hovering the taste buds for exactly 2 seconds (anymore than 2 seconds would be detrimental to one's physical health as the looser is still waiting for theirs), then a quick swish 'n swallow. The process is complete! See how easy that was? Now the looser can have a long-awaited cup of liquid gold as well, and is likely not to throttle the winner. A myriad of events now take place: the dog can finally go out for his morning ritual, the cat gets the cream, the kids get the Cheerios, and here comes the mother-in-law with her own special cup with the inscription, "We Love Grandma After She has Had Her Coffee".
Years of sage experience has taught the wise mother-in-law not to interrupt the morning four steps. She knows it's dangerous to get in the line of fire. She wasn't born yesterday either. The winner is more than likely poised with a smug look by now because they know they can handle just about anything now.

Let's recap. There are 4 basic steps to the morning coffee ritual, and no, iron-clad coffee drinkers are not crazy. Step 1. Sorting out the important questions for the day. Step 2. The initial set up (this takes the longest because a person has to wake up enough to see the plug in's, buttons, and such). Step 3. The brewing and zeroing in process (this is the one that's vital to everyone else's health if they don't stay out of the operator's way). And, The Finale, Step 4. The Slurp-Spray-Sip, or SSS for short. Better known as The Reward. I say the reward because it rewards diligence, persistence, and the pursuit of happiness of course, but more importantly this final step makes everyone else's day much better because you have satisfied your deep inner craving for the most pleasurable drink on the planet known to man and beast. Everyone that's anyone in a person's immediate surroundings is safe now and the world is a better place to be.

Becoming a master at the 4-step morning coffee process is most definitely an art. A seasoned master of this ritual will have the whole line-up of steps down to about 6.25 minutes. The entire elite process can be measurably hastened by starting with a reasonably clean brewing apparatus and remembering to engage the cord to the grinder the night before after the beloved mother-in-law has gone to bed (she's the sneaky little culprit that is always trying to save electricity and swears that there is still juice flowing through the plugged-in cords).

Now, be honest and tell it like it is. Why do real coffee drinkers drink coffee? Is that first cup of coffee an addiction? A habit? A natural medicinal cure for constipation? To ingest the morning dose of antioxidants? The thrill of winning? A court ordered thing? Safety precautions for the loved ones? The need for control? Sheer desperation? The love for continual analogy? Why is it that coffee, flavored, caffeinated or decaf, tastes so good? Could it possibly be a pure unadulterated pleasure that engulfs you with that first sip? Could it be the anticipation of the most wonderful drink on the planet known to man or beast drizzling across the palate and tickling anxiously waiting taste buds just one more time? Could it be that coffee simply tastes fantastic? Serious money is on the last two choices, or so it's been said in numerous coffee circles.

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Best to You, Teresa A. Naylor


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