The Guest
Refrigerator Door

Now I' m sharing magnets from my mother's fridge.

Well, this isn't exactly coffee, but it's the closest magnet I could find.



* Discussion *

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.



WHAT I'M READING...

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

by
Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.

also

Battersea Park Road
to Enlightenment

(this is a book I picked up in London)


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

A&E's Biography on
Vanna White
(yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that!)



That's it for today!

BLACK DEATH

19 June 2001

It's 6 in the morning and time for The Ritual. Itís not that I approach it as a ritual, itís just what I do around 6 in the morning. Pour water into the coffee maker, get the coffee beans, grind them up, put them into the filter, turn the pot on (if I remember to do that--far too often Iíve gone back 15 minutes later only to discover I forgot to turn the pot on!), and soon the kitchen is filled with the aroma if freshly brewed coffee.

I love coffee. I can be somewhat fussy about it, but I will drink just about anything, as long as itís not instant. Some coffee I drink just for something to drink, but donít really enjoy it (this includes most restaurant coffees, and itís always a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant that serves really "good" coffee).

My love of coffee goes back to my childhood, growing up in San Francisco. Our flat was wonderfully situated on the fringe of Russian Hill, with Ghirardelli chocolate to the north and Folgers coffee to the south. Iíd leave for school in the morning and the air would be filled with the smell of mocha, as the fumes from the two factories blended in the air over my house.

In the beginning I would drink anything. It didnít matter how bad it was. When I lived in my first apartment, I would make a pot of coffee and drink out of the same pot for days, reheating the old stuff. Sometimes a pot would last me a week (I shudder to think about that now!)

Life changed and my palate with it in 1966 when Alfred Peet opened a coffee store in Berkeley, near the university. Walt and I had been married for a year by then and I donít remember how we happened to check out Peetís, but we did. It didnít take long to discover the joy of truly good coffee.

We tried several types for awhile, gradually whittling down to our favorites, which were French Roat, Italian Roast or Mocha-Java. We bought a coffee grinder and began buying whole beans. We bought filters and a Melita coffee pot. It was a never-look-back situation. We were hooked and would never got back to instant Nescafe again.

Each week we would make the trek across campus to Walnut and Vine Streets and order our coffee beans. Weíd enjoy a cup of free coffee while we were waiting.

Others began to discover Peetís and now we would have to wait in a long line, sometimes extending out the door, to get our coffee beans.

The success of Peetís allowed him to open a second store, closer to our house, which was much more convenient. On a Sunday morning we would go to the new Peetís and find a courtyard filled with people sipping coffee out of Peetís cups and waiting for their turn to get a bag of the precious beans to take home.

We gradually eliminated Italian Roast and Mocha Java and started drinking French Roast exclusively. We called it "black death," for itís deep black color (and the fact that our famlies complained that it was too strong).

One of the gut-wrenching things about moving here to Davis was that we would be so far from Peetís. They did offer mail-order, but instead we found ourselves driving to Berkeley once a month to buy 7 pounds of French Roast beans. We had to have our fix.

And then Peet got even more popular and was able to expand, first to San Francisco (where it was easier to buy coffee because there were shorter lines) and ultimately actually here to Davis, where the store is a long walking distance from our house.

At some point Starbucks decided to get into the coffee wars and seemed determined to put Peet out of business. Wherever a Peetís opened up, soon a Starbucks would open within a block. Starbucks began to corner the market (we even found a small bakery in Edinburgh, on the Royal Mile, with a hand lettered sign†saying "we serve Starbucks coffee"), but we remain loyal to Peet. Starbucks is OK, but there is something about the Peet roasting process that just gives that French Roast coffee a distinctive flavor that we love.

Over the years, the family has gotten used to our "black death" and now both of the Grandmothers have become afficionados of Peets coffee as well.

Itís not a snobbish thing, itís just enjoying a really good cup of coffee. When we are traveling, we drink whatever is available, but itís always so good to come home to Peet.


One Year Ago:
Daddy's Little Girl?
(making peace with my father, at long last)


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 6/18/01 by Bev Sykes