The thing about sunsets… you can go to the same place every evening and the sunset is different every time. I suppose this would be the same of sunrises…I take that on faith as I tend not to see as many sunrises as I do sunsets. Either way it’s a new picture every day.
Percy the Pelican…
The pelican is not what I would call nature’s prettiest bird. It seemed to me that this one was attempting to look majestic as I zoomed in on him, but in my world majestic just doesn’t work when you have a beak like that. Not surprisingly, my opinion does not seem to offend him (or her) in any way, nor does it affect his ability to fly, catch fish, or to sit pompously on a dock post. Whatever the word might be…there is something about this fellow that I thought made a good picture.
How do you like your coffee?
There was a time not that long ago, when it was relatively simple to answer the question “How do you like your coffee?” as there were minimal options. We either had it black, with cream, with sugar, or with cream and sugar. Then the options began to expand. I think it began with the sugar options. For those counting calories there were the artificial sweeteners, some of which have since been discontinued due to their carcinogenic properties followed closely by the healthier choices; Splenda, Stevia and a myriad of other sugar alternatives. Along with that we were presented with options in the coffee-whitening department. “Do you want 2%, half and half, heavy cream, or whitening powder?” Other choices including a never-ending variety of flavoring syrups and/or liquid whiteners; hazelnut, Irish cream, pumpkin spice, etc. were not far behind.
The other day I visited a coffee shop that I had not previously visited and as usual it took a while to find a plain cup of brewed coffee among the numerous specialty drinks listed on the menu board. While there are a few specialty coffees that I can appreciate, I tend to be more of an old school coffee addict; I like it to… well… actually taste like coffee! As a seasoned coffee shop visitor I have learned how to cut to the chase in this type of setting. After politely scanning the menu board, I simply ask if they happen to have a dark roast Sumatra brewing. Typically they do not, but they will then tell me what they do have on hand in the realm of brewed coffees.
I like a dark roast with a generous dose of heavy cream; so once the nature of the brew is established we move on to the next question, which is “Do you happen to have any heavy cream on hand?” Again, most coffee shops do not typically offer heavy cream, those that do often keep it hidden away for use in their specialty recipes, but I have found that most will reluctantly bring it out upon request.
When it comes to different ways that people prefer their coffee I have learned to tread lightly.
The culture of coffee shops can be vastly different from one to the next. For instance the hometown cafe where the local old-timers gather to share the latest gossip while guzzling down several pots of well chlorinated Folgers is a vastly different atmosphere from the specialty coffee shop where young entrepreneurs stop to research markets on their iPads while sipping tall chai lattes before or after work. On the one extreme you have econo-brew coffee being mass produced through an automated drip filter machine with tap water, while on the other end you have fresh ground specialty beans gently brewed in PH balanced filtered water. Granted these are the extreme ends of the spectrum, and certainly each serves a specific type of clientele that most likely will continue to keep them in business.
I have personally experienced both extremes and much of what exists between them, and what I have found I appreciate most about each is… well… that they serve coffee!
In this realm of relationships and coffee preferences, I have also discovered a condition I have affectionately coined “caffinatious incompatibility”. This term describes a social condition that results upon the realization that two people, who otherwise like each other, will probably never agree on the subject of coffee. For instance, I have been happily married to a most wonderful person for over thirty years now, and amazingly we still like each other. In those thirty years, she has not consumed so much as a sip of coffee. I have therefore taken it upon myself, in order to overcome this caffinatious incompatibility, to drink twice as much coffee as a normal person in order to keep our relationship caffinatiously balanced. The fact that we still like each other after thirty years merely testifies to the validity of my theory. For any doubters out there, try communicating with a coffee addict before they have had their first morning cup of java.
In the final analysis how a person likes their coffee is similar to many other issues in life…it pretty much comes down to our personal preferences. Just because we may happen to be caffinatiously incompatible does not mean we can’t be friends. So have your coffee your way and enjoy it with my blessing, and I will trust that you will allow me to enjoy mine dark roasted and French pressed with a generous shot of heavy cream.