The Perfect Cup
A story of aromas and adventures
Coffee is a simple thing. Only two ingredients: water and coffee beans. But, in the right environment, it can be one of the most pleasurable experiences you will have.
I’m in the woods.
There’s no cell service, so my phone is packed at the bottom of my bag, buried beneath a pile of tightly rolled clothes. I’ve brought my heavy-duty French press because I’m not alone. I’m with Carla. And maybe some of our friends. I’m letting the water boil over the fire while I grind the beans with my trusty Porlex. No need to rush. Time moves slowly out here.
The aroma surfacing from between my hands is heavenly. The smell hits everyone’s nostrils in unison, and I hear a resounding “Mhmmmm.” There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly ground coffee beans. Coffee has a calming effect out here. Not like in the city, where the caffeine is not so much enjoyed, but rather exploited to trudge through the daily grind.
The water starts bubbling. I take the kettle and pour water into the French press to warm it up. I dump the water from the press and drop the grounds into the bottom. I rinse out the paper filter so it’s ready to go. Then, I pour the water onto the grounds. Just a teensy tiny bit to allow the coffee to bloom. I put my face over the top of the press and inhale deeply. I let the mixture bubble for half a minute, pour the rest of the water in, and allow the magic to happen.
While I wait, everyone goes to grab their favourite mug. Some of them have to go rinse theirs out in the lake to clean out the wine from last night. When you’re in the woods, you drink your coffee and wine from the same mug.
I press down slowly, allowing no rogue grounds to end up in the finished product. I walk around the crackling fire, trying to avoid the flying sparks, and dole out the divine elixir into everyone’s mug. I pour mine out last and sit down. I take a sip. The first time coffee hits your palate is always the most bitter, but in a pleasant way. The coffee tastes sweet, and this particular brew is chocolatey, dark, and complex. I swirl the liquid around my tongue, and it mixes with the fire giving the flavour a hint of smoke. I feel awake immediately. Warming me from the inside out.
I take a look around.
Everyone is smiling and laughing with both hands on their mug, steam rising. The breeze is rustling the leaves, and the sunlight is creeping through the trees.
I am happy.
Thanks for reading Insightful Fiction! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.