Coffee Break

A shot of espresso is perfect for a late-afternoon pick-me-up.

I love a good cup of Joe. There is something to be said for drinking a big cup of coffee, black, hot, bitter and wonderful. The little pep I get from the caffeine is a welcome friend first thing in the morning and close companion during mid-day.

I’ve always enjoyed coffee and over the years I’ve tried them all: black, with cream, with cream and sugar, cappuccino, late, Americano, caramel macchiatto, low foam, no foam, and whipped cream.

A macchiatto, slow poured through steamed milk doesn’t need caramel to make it special.

I’ve enjoyed coffees from around the world; Hawaii, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, and Jamaica.

I’ve enjoyed every level of quality, from Dunkin’ Donuts to Folgers and Maxwell House, Chock full o’Nuts (you know, that Heavenly coffee) to Mavis Bank Blue Mountain (at a whopping $50 a pound).

Our family can easily put away two pots of coffee a day and after our trip to Italy last year, my interest in a really good espresso and cappuccino sent our coffee bill through the roof.

Not every attempt turns out perfectly. I underestimated the size of the mug on this one.

My two sons have worked for the coffee shop “that must not be named” for several years. They learned quite a bit about the flavors and roasting of the coffee bean. Our youngest gave us a wonderful gift one evening a few years ago of a “Coffee Tasting”, in which the participants sampled 15 different varieties of coffee, beginning with mild, soft tones and progressing to dark, full-bodied brews. It was an evening we won’t forget because we didn’t sleep for several days after the party as a result of the caffeine rush.

Recently our sons both started working for an amazing little coffee and confectionery in Fishers aptly called The Quirky Feather. This new gig has not reduced their passion for coffee. In fact, they’ve found that this local shop has made it possible to expand their creativity in the coffee world. They can make their own concoctions and offer them to the guests without running into problems with a corporate expectation and rigid menus.

An absolutely perfect head of foam, a dash of cinnamon, and raw sugar caps off this cup.

My father-in-law didn’t help our curb our family’s addiction when he decided to start roasting his own coffee beans. I had the privilege of watching him one day as he cooked up a batch. This man has taken the term hobby to a whole new level! In a modified gas grill, Don puts green coffee beans into a rotisserie canister. Carefully watching a temperature gauge and listening for the tell-tale crackle of the beans, he perfectly times the roast to ensure the perfect cup of coffee. Pouring the beans into a specially crafted colander fitted onto a blower, the chaff is parted from the now-dark beans. Taken into the house while still hot, ground and brewed, this was perhaps the best coffee I’ve tasted…in my lifetime…ever.

No matter how you brew it up, there is just something special about that juice.

Be Brave & Eat (or Drink) Well!


My first home-brewed cappuccino after our return from Italy. Almost as good as the original.




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