The Dance Begins

Legend has it that in the Ninth Century A.D. an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate of a certain red berry found in the highlands, they had abundant amounts of energy and appeared to "dance". Kaldi and his fellow shepherds tried chewing the berries and even the leaves, but this was rather unpleasant. These raw coffee berries traveled from Ethiopia to Egypt and then Yemen, where they were first roasted and brewed in a manner we would recognize today.

Another legend has it that an eleven year-old boy in Davis, California, while visiting his Aunt Cathy's Northern Italian Restaurant, "Ristorante Mangiamo", finally had the courage to ask for a decaf espresso, even though he had taken sips of his father Mike's coffee and hated it. Adam had spent much of his childhood in the kitchen and dinning room of "Ristorante Mangiamo" and had always marveled at the huge, brass and copper Elektra Espresso machine that sat near the door to the kitchen. He loved the sharp, smokey smell that emanated from it when espresso shots were being pulled. Aunt Cathy brought him his single decaf espresso with a twist of lemon peel. Expecting to hate it, the boy took a tiny, tentative sip. The flavor exploded in his mouth and he squeezed his eyes shut to deal with the sensory overload. He wasn't in love with it, but he definitely didn't hate it. A seed was planted and a quest for good coffee was now afoot.

Many memorable cups of coffee that I have had in the past are memorable for their setting, context, accompanying experiences and company as much, if not more, than for their actual quality. Some were just damn good cups of coffee. This blog will be a chronicle of my life with coffee. Coffee may not always be at the center of things, but it will be there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows or proudly front and center.

Let us begin.

"I learned it by watching you, alright!"

The incomparable Otis Redding's "Cigarettes and Coffee", one of my favorite "Java Jams".

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