August 27, 2004

I don't really drink coffee

I know that many of you have seen me with a cup-o-joe before, but the truth is I never really liked the stuff that much. I've always thought that it would make a better potpourri than wake-up drink.

I think it's because the first time I had coffee was in old town Quebec in a sublevel (premier-├ętage, ou sur le terre) grotto that I think the blue collar workers went after getting their dole. The stuff was like burnt wood with a syrupee texture and a spray paint after-taste. You'd think that people who wish they were french would get it right!

But There are things that are starting to change my mind. The first is an ingenious machine called a conical burr grinder. My good friend Dailey could explain its inner machinations better than I, but the gist of it is that the grinder doesn't heat up the oils in the beans so that there is no bitter after-taste. Honestly, that little gadget makes the best cup of coffee I've ever had in my life!

Friday at work we started the end-of-the-summer clean up. That and an itch for a remodel of our department caused us office workers to revolt against an hideous eyesore of a table that our coffee maker and accoutrements inhabited. Naturally, in a torrent of pitchforks and dust we cleared it off and carted it out of the office with triumphant glee. Next came the re-arranging of our desks. After quite a bit of deliberation we came to a space-efficient solution and called Interior Decorating for a replacement table.

"Hello, Interior Decorating."
"Hi! We're fixing our coffee station in Book Design and we'd like to know if you have any counter-hight cabinets or modern looking tables. We're looking for something simple, maybe black or chrome."
"OK, well, you'll have to fill out a furniture request form and then we'll order what you need."
"Oh, I see. Do you have anything in stock we could look at?"
"Well, we might have something in a trailer somewhere. Otherwise you'd have to order it. Either way it would be at least two weeks before we could find anything for you."
"[gasp] OK. Um, where can I get a form?"
"They're saved on the network a whah whah WHAH whah WHAH..."
"Thanks, have a great day!"

I couldn't let this snag hurt the momentum we had going. I needed some new furniture anyway. At four on Friday afternoon a coworker and I pretended to be a married couple shopping for furniture at Target. We picked up the most awesome metal rolling rack with a wooden top as well as Charles Eames inspired molded white birch plywood chair! The pieces perfecly matched each other and now serve as our mini-cafe. We can now roll the coffee maker and several blends of coffee with filters and creamers/sugars from its cozy little corner to any work station or even out into the main floor of the press! I have never been so excited about coffee!

As I've come to appreciate coffee more I've realized that the black stuff is really nothing more than a social lubricant. Coffee houses make the best meeting places. Even our humble coffee cafe at work gave our department a sense of accomplishment, that we're finally getting our workspace updated. And the lot of us staying after hours for a while to set it all up was some of the best fun I've had at work. And, believe me, nothing gets a party going like a cup of coffe at Dailey's fresh from the grinder.

Posted by timf at August 27, 2004 06:43 PM

congratulations! i had to read this post, since i'm kind of an coffee-psycho myself and can't enough of the (good) stuff. i was so relieved that you are now properly enthusiastic towards coffee and its accompanying culture. now i don't have to try and convert you ;o)
good luck with the blogging--and the new coffee cart ;o)

Posted by: jen d at August 31, 2004 08:59 AM
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