Across the bedroom the clock glared at me with a bright red 6:08 as I peeked out from under the covers. It was Saturday. However, that really didn’t matter. Sleeping late had never been my thing. The best part of the day for me has always been watching the sunrise. I heard my husband’s soft greeting, “Good morning” as I shuffled to the kitchen in my fluffy slippers. Opening the jar of coffee beans, I breathed in the rich, intoxicating aroma of freshly roasted beans. And with my eyes closed, I smiled.
It was hard to believe that only yesterday, those dark, supple coffee beans were green seeds. You see, coffee is not really a bean at all. It is a seed that comes from a fruit that looks very much like a cranberry. Opening the sack to grab a handful of these green seeds, I could smell the earthy rich soil from the family plantation in Nicaragua where they were grown.
You would never consider eating these green seed. They are so hard you would break a tooth trying to bite one open. It is amazing how anyone ever figured out that the seed from this inedible red fruit, when roasted, was quite delicious. I have also wondered the same thing about tapioca. The root is poisonous. Yet, someone discovered if you spit out the root and eat only the little beads found inside, called tapioca, it is rather tasty. And there is the pufferfish that is extremely dangerous to eat if not cooked exactly right. Fortunately, I have never been so hungry that I would eat or drink ANYTHING distasteful, especially if there was a chance it would make me sick. I have also had the luxury of dabbling in the kitchen and experimenting with new ways to prepare food and drink just the way I like it.
Within days of roasting these little coffee gems, they are ground and infused into the water to make espresso. Adding a soft swirl of frothed milk on top of my cup, it becomes Latté. After all that, I finally get a chance to sit down beside the fireplace and enjoy this rich, bittersweet, creamy cup of coffee. And as I gaze through the windows the sun begins to rise over the valley. It sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, all that goodness does not come without a price. Not only does it take a lot of fiddling around to get to that first sip of coffee, but cleanup is rather time-consuming. The messy roasting process is not something you would ever do in your kitchen. There is a great deal of smoke that billows out of the roaster. The skin of the seed flakes off and the hot air blows chaff around the roasting area. But roasting is only half of the mess. It is amazing how those coffee grounds manage to get in every single kitchen cabinet.
You might ask, “Why don’t you just make a cup of coffee with a Keurig Machine? It takes only a few seconds to go from an empty cup to a full flavored hot delicious cup of coffee and there is NO mess!”. I guess, it is the same reason my husband and I grind organic wheat berries to make our own bread. It is the reason my husband cuts firewood out of the woods and I split, haul, and stack it to heat our home. It is the reason we cook most of our meals at home. It’s because even when our projects don’t work out the way we planned, if we learned something, it was never a waste of time.
I discovered there was more treasure in not just reading about these things. Taking the time to create them makes life more meaningful and enjoyable.
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