I'm coming to grips with one pervasive notion, as I get older. If I can find a better anything, I will.
Lately, I've been applying that notion to coffee. I've been struggling to find a quality cup of coffee, for years. I'm not talking about an urn full of sub-par garbage, that was made 3 hours prior to my leaving the house. Likewise, I'm not talking about bitter, poorly ground coffee, run through an espresso machine. Just poor a bunch of steamed milk on top and no one will be the wiser, right? To be fair, I actually kinda like Starbucks. Besides, you have to go down to the island or into Houston to beat it. Starbucks is close and more often than not, they tend to get my coffee shekels. However, I think I can find better. I'm quite sure I have been to every Coffee Shop within 30 miles. Coffee Shops are a bit of a thing with me. New York has some good ones. Hawaii has fancy ones, that require a small loan to frequent. Chicago and Los Angeles have the best ones I've been to. Still haven't made it to Seattle. Houston? There are some quality Coffee Shops in Houston and I enjoy going to visit them, on occasion. However, my favorite time to dink coffee is around 5am. I wake up, put on a record and enjoy the peace of a simple life. It's still dark, no one is around and the only sounds are Dexter Gordon's sax and my bad knees. Merging onto 59 from I-45N, doesn't jive with the vibe I'm going for. Galveston has a fine one, but you still have to get on I-45 and you know...tourists.
The problem is obvious and the solution is clear. Find an out of this world, sweet baby Jesus coffee bean, that I can grind at home, put in a French press, add hot water and knock my socks off. Like with most problems, the solution isn't showing up at my door and presenting itself. However, I did happen to meet with a roaster, who is roasting small batches of incredible beans, from Costa Rica, Guatemala and other places that sound humid. I watched as he roasted green beans, to a beautiful, chocolate brown. Still too hot to touch, he put them in a grinder and we were drinking a perfectly rounded cup of coffee, within minutes. It was beautiful. As usual, a trigger went off. I can't be the only person looking for a higher quality coffee, 'round these parts. I reached out to the business partner. I knew he would be as impressed as I was. And thus begins the journey of finding the perfect roast of the perfect bean. We aren't looking for the same things. He's after a dark, French roast. I'm after something less bitter. I have no doubt we will each land on it. I'm actually pretty close. He's still narrowing things down.
Finding the perfect coffee will free me up to find the perfect version of Bach's Air on the G String. If I ever find that, no one will hear the end of it.