“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
My first cup of coffee was during my first year of college, chased with a packet of hot chocolate. The taste of cafeteria Joe was heavy and bitter and even with the hot chocolate, I still preferred to write my all-night papers with a bottle of Mountain Dew. By the end of sophomore year, I had been introduced to Dunkin Donuts coffee, a staple in the northeast. I soon became a loyal fan of the DD and was pleased to find myself a coffee drinker at last. Goodbye Mountain Dew, hello coffee machine. In my third year, I went to study in Italy where espresso is synonymous with water. My Italian mama made me espresso on the stove each morning, followed with espresso for lunch on the Arno, followed by espresso after dinner while my papa made me practice what new words I had learned that day. By the end of my sojourn, it was definitive. I was in love with coffee.
Through the years I have been to loyal to one coffee after another; Coffee Bean, Starbucks, Kona, Illy. Like dating, my tastes have changed and my preference for brands have switched accordingly. My allegiance for the past year or so has been with a company called allegro for their signature ‘Breakfast Blend.’ It smells divine and the taste is a mouth-full just perfect for the morning. And then two days ago I tried Blue Bottle Coffee. Not knowing is was almost $20 a bag, I fell in love. So smooth. So harmonious. So clean. I was hooked.
There is a coffee from Indonesia called that sells for $160 a pound. It’s made from coffee beans that have been eaten and pooped out again by a mongoose. And in Panama, Hacienda La Esmeralda makes a coffee that is grown in the shade of old guava trees. You can grab a pound of this delicacy for a mere $104 a pound. And if that still feels too steep for you, there’s a brand called Island From St. Helena Coffee Company named after said island about 1200 miles off the coast of Africa. For $79 you can purchase Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite coffee. Obviously, my $20 coffee is now sounding pretty good, huh?