Caffeine consumption has become a daily ritual and addiction for many people. Caffeine exists in coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. Five common withdrawal systems are headache, fatigue or drowsiness, depression or irritability, difficulty in concentrating, and flu like systems including nausea, muscle pain, and stiffness.
Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
I’m an addict. Pure and simple.
There is almost nothing I won’t do for a good, hot, strong, flavorful, beautiful cup of coffee in the morning. I actually feel angry when I can’t obtain my one main desire.
Coffee: because sleep is for the weak; Yes, I will die without coffee; Coffee: All the Cool kids are doing it; Hand over the Coffee and no one gets hurt!
As I’m sure you can recall from my Simple Cup ‘o Joe post, I love coffee. No I need coffee. I don’t have a lot of hobbies and have virtually no addictions. So I think loving coffee this much is ok. Several years ago when I took a short trip with my dad, he would get so annoyed because at the beginning of every day, like an addict, I would hound him and gear him towards any establishment that appeared to offer a nice strong bold cup. On our most recent trip from Washington to Wyoming and Colorado, I realized that dad finally “got me”. He would go out of his way to drive to a Starbucks or some other high potency joint that doled out the black tar that has fed my soul for so long. It was a trip of awakenings and bonding between the two of us. His newfound understanding of me did however extend our drive by at least 4 hours.
You also read in that post about the extremes I will go to just for that really good cup. I will accomplish death defying acts to obtain a kilo or 3. I think I adequately demonstrated how dangerous and difficult it was to maneuver from my safe abode to the local coffee mill. I also completely laid out how heart-breaking it can be to go to such extremes and suffer the often disappointing result of such effort.
So I’m sure you can only imagine my huge dismay when, after the electricity returned, I brewed my first bold cup and there was NO flavor. It was boring, dull and un-fullfilling. I was despondent for days. I tried pot after pot of coffee. I used different measuring techniques and finally resorted to adding a spoonful of “Instant” coffee just to give it some flavor. Yeah, you heard me…INSTANT COFFEE!!
Nescafe no es cafe. (Instant coffee is not coffee.)
Any true coffee addict knows that instant coffee is a sacrilegious act that should NEVER be resorted to unless in extreme and by extreme I mean dire situations. (Yes, I do realize that extreme and dire mean the same thing and I was simply being redundant to make a point.)
I started babbling incoherent quotes like the following:
Coffee is real good when you drink it it gives you time to think. It’s a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.~Gertrude Stein
The discovery of coffee has enlarged the realm of illusion and given more promise to hope.~Isidore Bourdon
Even upon re-reading the above quotes, I do not understand what they mean. Soooo anyways, this past weekend I took the plunge again and headed off towards my favorite brew hub. I had friends with me this time, if necessary, to back up my claim of crap coffee. I chickened out at the last minute. Given my negative ability to communicate completely in a 2nd language I felt it was not worth the effort and might only exacerbate future coffee buying expeditions.
On our way home we planned to stop at the open market for cheese, fruits and vegetables. Near the open market is a Turkish shop that sells Turkish things. The one Turkish thing that it sells that you cannot find in any other store in Caracas is Turkish coffee. If you have never had Turkish coffee and you are a coffee lover you should try it. It’s dEEE-Vine!! It’s divine in so many ways. How you drink the coffee is really as important as how you prepare it, so I am going to give you a link that explains this most important act. TURKISH COFFEE
Typical turkish Coffee presentation
However, it’s never open, and when I say never I mean NEVER when I drive by it. I didn’t expect it to be open on this day as well. The coffee Gods were smiling down on me on this magical day because.. it was open. I went inside expecting the store to be completely out of Turkish coffee as it often is. Again, good fortune was on my side because they had it. Not only did they have Turkish Coffee, they had several bags of Turkish coffee. I decided not to tempt fate and did the only logical thing I could think of. I bought all but 2 containers of their coffee.
Each of these tiny containers of Turkish coffee ran about $12-20 each and I bought about 6 of them. As I am sure you remember from my last coffee post I have trouble computing size vs. cost in Venezuela, so don’t quote me on the price. Needless to say it was a pretty expensive trip. But can I say SOOOO worth it. I’m not sure if you can see the writing on the bottom of this container but the coffee I bought has cardamom in it. So it was a double score for me. The original is good but with cardamom.. even better.
So I took my treasures home, cut my kilos with the Najjar coffee and this morning.. pure heaven. Yes, it took 2 trips, 5 near death road crossings, the triangle of death, possibly hundreds of dollars spent and the use of my extreme Spanish/Turkish negotiating skills to confiscate from a store almost their entire stash of the black gold….and finally (POR FIN) I have achieved my goal. A good cup ‘o joe.
A few good take-aways from these last two incidents: 1. I now know exactly how much 3 kilos of coffee is and how long they will take me to consume. 2. Always carry extra cash on the chance you will happen by a store that is open and carries the exact or close to exact item you want. 3. Never give up.
The Coffee Nation (CNBC TV); Coffee Fuss (CBCNEWS – Health); Coffee Habits (Healthy as a Horse)