Coffeemaking 101

These days, I avoid Starbucks. It wasn’t always like that, of course. I mean, there was a time before I learned how to make a cup of coffee. There was even a time before I drank coffee altogether, as hard as it is for me to believe. I drink so much coffee these days that you’d think I burst out of the womb with a caffeine twitch.  There was also a time when I lived at Starbucks, and had to budget my Starbucks intake by putting a certain amount of money on a gift card each month, and only purchasing from that gift card.

I lived at my parents’ house for my third year of college.  That lasted exactly one year, and just enough time for me to save up enough money to stop waiting tables and to move to my glorious college neighborhood, fifteen long and gridlocked miles away: Westwood.

But rewind – before I lived in Westwood, I lived at Powell library.  Yes, our beautiful library.  The very library that hosted countless naps, study sessions, and midterms/finals week sleepovers.

Naturally, those sleepovers involved little or no sleep at all.  They did, however, involve buying four-packs of Red Bull at the student store on my way to the library.

And at some point, the smell of Red Bull made me want to vomit.  So I switched to lattes.

And at some point after that, I became frustrated with how many four-dollar non-fat lattes I’d have to drink in one library session keep my energy and GPA up.  One morning, I expressed this frustration to my dad, as I was getting ready to make the trek to school.

“Coffee is cheap.  What in the world are you complaining about?” he asked me.  I told him that a cup of coffee would only keep me up for so long, and it takes time and money to stand in line at Starbucks every morning.  And time is money when you’re dealing with Los Angeles gridlock.

My dad looked at me in disbelief when he realized that I didn’t know how to use a coffee maker – I guess we have to learn something new every day.

“Follow me,” he said restlessly, as I followed behind him.  We stood in the kitchen.

Coffeemaking 101

  1. Rinse coffee pot out and fill with water.
  2. Pour into coffee maker.  Replace coffee pot on heater.
  3. Place coffee filter in coffee maker.
  4. Scoop coffee into filter.  Close coffee maker.
  5. Press “start,” or “go,” or whatever makes the coffee brew.
  6. Wait.  Pour coffee.  Voila!  Free coffee, a la Mr. Gerrity.

What a monster I’ve become.  I shoot through at least a cup of coffee a day — and when I opt for tea, I basically inhale it all day long.  I must sweat caffeine through my pores.  Can you even do that?  I’m pretty sure that’s what I do.

Rachel (now a roommate) bought an espresso machine.  Like my dad, she had to walk me through using it.  It’s much more complicated.  I could do a tutorial on how to make espresso, but I’m still not even sure I have it completely down yet.  But if there’s one thing I can do, it’s take photos of the delicious latte I made.

Anyway, I mentioned earlier that Sweetsonian has moved into a newer, bigger, and better kitchen on Capitol Hill.  It’s true.  I’m in.  I have a dining table, and I host even more dinners.  I do miss all the memories I’ve made with my friends and roomies on that Dupont balcony, but I am absolutely, positively, head-over-heels for this new house.

Which reminds me, there is something I have been meaning to tell you: I love you guys.  Thank you so much for reading, commenting, following, and talking about Sweetsonian.  Sweetsonian loves it — so much that I’m determined to blog more, now that I have moving, illness, and writer’s block out of the way.  I’m even buying a tripod for your photographic pleasure.  And I’m planning some surprises for you, too.  So I promise, something exciting will be coming your way in the next couple of months.  And it’s not just guest bloggers (oh what? I’ll let that one slip).

Were you all waiting for my own personal version of coffee making 101?  I really don’t have that many good tips – other than, of course, to buy really, really, really good coffee.  Sadly, I’ve used up all of the coffee I brought back on a recent trip to Colombia, but I hear they have amazing mass-exported coffee.  It’s cheaper than water, down there.