Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coffee Talk...Revised

I’ve already discussed cassoulet, for the “cassoulet” component of Cassoulet Café. But we really haven’t discussed the café part of it, have we? Be it the drink or the place. I mean, I’ve touched upon it, put in plugs for French and Italian coffee brands, talked about going to cafes, but I think I’ve really hidden how much coffee rules my life. Oh, it started out innocent enough. Trying to drink coffee at home, as an adolescent trying to feel like an adult, ending up with a disproportionate amount of creamer to coffee, to disguise the coffee-ness so it would be acceptable to a youth’s palate. Then ditching it for a Dr. Pepper.

Then Coffee-Mate came out with Hazelnut creamer. That is when my true coffee addiction began. It camouflaged the Folgers oh-so-well!

Then, as I started getting weary of all that non-dairy sweetness, we started to drink it black and a bit stronger. We moved on up to a metal can of...Yuban! But soon, we declared a ban on Yuban in our house, because we were finding ourselves in the midst of the Starbucks revolution and we adjusted accordingly. We thought that if we slurped down the burnt-tasting brew (and bonus points if we actually liked it), then we were true coffee connoisseurs. And certainly buying the beans and grinding them ourselves confirmed it! No more canned grounds for us, we said.

But then when we moved to France we suddenly felt like Coffee Pre-Schoolers. The coffee there was so strong that it shocked our palates (and guts) the first few mornings and we soon realized we only needed one cup to get going, as opposed to our normal three. After moving back to the States, we continued to make strong puts-hair-on-your-chest java, much to the dismay of our occasional guests. And when friends or family came to visit from France, we’d make requests for loads of Lavazza and Carte Noire to be brought to us.

Then my coffee maker sizzled out. Being the Google Queen that I am (and really, who isn't nowadays?), I had to Google "coffeemakers" and read reviews on oodles of brands and models. As I pored over brewing devices, I came across a site about home roasting coffee beans. Roasting my own coffee? Why would I want to complicate my life more than it already is by adding another step to my coffee drinking regimen?

When FedEx came the next week to deliver my new coffee roaster, I was ecstatic but intimidated. Could someone like little ol’ me really take these green beans resembling lentils and actually come out with a product even close to Starbucks or Tully’s? I wasn’t so sure.

Fast-forward two years. We are officially coffee snobs. After taking that first sip of home roasted brew, Hubby and I looked at each other and could only say “WOW.” No after taste, no burnt flavor, and do we detect…chocolate notes? As home roasters often do, we now refer to that chain as Charbucks. Because, my dear friends, charred coffee water is not a sign of quality, nor does consuming it make one the ultimate coffee connoisseur.

I’ve also added a French Press (ok, I have three of them) to my coffeemaker collection. 

We serve up the best coffee in town, heck, in the state! and friends come from far and wide to enjoy a cuppa Chez Nous (at our house).

When my Best Expat Friend was packing to come visit from France, she called to tell me she received my shopping list, but said I forgot to include my normal order for the usual 10 bricks of Carte Noire coffee. “Oh no,” I told her. “We don’t drink that stuff anymore. From now on, you’ll be taking my coffee back to France!”

And she does.

Stay tuned, as I have some exciting things concerning coffee coming up!


~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Coffee tastes MUCH better than roaches.

Insanity Kim said...

My husband would be proud...

I am serious, he is the walking encyclopedia on coffee/espresso. If you need to know anything more, let me know!

(by the way, that "something" is there!!)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

How much am I enjoying this post! You are a woman after my own heart :)

We only own two coffeemakers now...a French press and a Moka pot. I am tired of electric coffee pots breaking down on me :) As for roasting your own beans...I am envious of you. Someday I will try that...for now I buy Lavazza!

Rosemarie said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! And I feel so educated about coffee now - I never knew you could even roast your own beans. I am ashamed to admit to you (of all people!) that I don't drink coffee - lol! My husband does and he doesn't like Charbucks either.

I'll be back for more!

Paula said...

Oh! Oh! So exciting! What a cool post! Coffee is so wonderful! I might have to consider home roasting now :)
P.S. I hate always disliked Starbucks coffee

Braja said...

Please .... for the love of God, no more coffee posts...I'M DEPRIVED!!!

Pearl said...

I am so jealous, I want to home roast now. My husband loves the hair on your chest strong coffee too, so he would be oh so happy. So when does the Cassoulet Cafe Home Roasted Coffee Giveaway start? heeheehee :)

Imogen Lamport said...

I think I would die if I drank your coffee - caffeine doesn't agree with me - gives me heart palpitations and I don't sleep for a week if I have 1 cup!

I wish I could!

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I've given you an award! Come and see.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Tessa, You are oh-so-right. But I did know a lady, who knew a lady (haha)who took the last swallow of her coffee from her styrofoam cup and out slid a roach into her mouth. That story has scarred me for life.

I will TOTALLY use you guys for my coffee resource!!! Does he still roast his own?

Welcome back! It's been so long! :) So nice to see you again...and I love those little Moka pots. They remind me of being in Italy!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

I bet if you tasted home roasted coffee, you'd become a coffee drinker! :)

You would NOT be sorry if you tried home roasting. It is so fun, and the results are A.MAZE.ING.

So sorry you are deprived....why?

The Cassoulet Cafe home roasted will be awhile yet. However, I am working on something coffee related for the blog right now. ;)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Oh, you are one of THOSE people. haha! That's ok, I could make you a really good cup of decaf tea. Could we still be friends? :)

WOWWWWWW I'm so honored! I love it!!!! Thank you so much! And I love your description of me (and yes, I'd freak if you called me a wise grandmother, I am soooooo far away from that title still!) lol

La Belette Rouge said...

Is the exciting thing that you are going to send all of your readers a pound of coffee a month? That would be exciting!!

I am a Peet's gal but I would happy give up my French roast for CC Roach Roast coffee.

skorpeo said...

brilliant post!! i wish to be counted among those who consider their hemoglobin to be dark roasted.

not sure you are able to obtain this brand in your neck of the woods, but i highly recommend illy cafe. simply delightful....

Imogen Lamport said...

Can you make me a hot chocolate instead? I've many friends who drink tea and coffee - I'm not a hot drinkist at all, though I tend to prefer drinks that have been chilled! Of course we can be friends.

Anonymous said...

You'll have to educate me on coffee. I started drinking it maybe a year ago? It's mostly Coffee Mate flavored milks with a side of coffee--my coffee is tan. :)

Anonymous said...

I love fresh coffee too but I don't think I would go so far as roasting my own beans! I usually buy Illy, but I'll give Lavazza a try next time. I prefer it with a dash of cream rather than milk.

I'm also glad to see so many people hate Starbucks. I have avoided it for years - it's the Macdonalds of coffee shops.

sassy stephanie said...

Read your post. Then read your comments about the roach. Now, along with throwing up in my mouth a little, I can't think of anything else.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Tomorrow is the exciting thing! And it's REALLY exciting!!!

I LOVE Illy coffee!

I make AWESOME hot chocolate!

That's because you're a beginner, so you are perfectly normal to have tan Coffee-mate coffee (a little coffee with your creamer, I say). That's how I started out. Don't worry, you'll be very educated on coffee if you keep reading my coffee posts :) And I have some exciting stuff about to happen...

Illy is better than Lavazza. I love it! Now, you just made me remember why I gained so much weight during our month in France last spring. I adore the creams in France, and I started putting the creme legere in my coffee. Oh my. Divine.
Here, we have Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. It's crazy.

That WAS nasty wasn't it???

susan said...

Charbucks is a great one word description.