Month: November 2013

Umberto Eco

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“American coffee can be a pale solution served at a temperature of 100
degrees centigrade in plastic thermos cups, usually obligatory in railroad
stations for purposes of genocide, whereas coffee made with an American
percolator, such as you find in private houses or in humble luncheonettes,
served with eggs and bacon, is delicious, fragrant, goes down like pure
spring water, and afterwards causes severe palpitations, because one cup
contains more caffeine than four espressos.”
―     Umberto Eco,     How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays


Small and Early

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  When Dorothy and I took tea, we sat upon the floor;
 No matter how much tea I drank, she always gave me more;
  Our table was the scarlet box in which her tea-set came;
 Our guests, an armless one-eyed doll, a wooden horse …gone lame.
  She poured out nothing, very fast,—the tea-pot tipped on high,
 And in the bowl found sugar lumps unseen by my dull eye.
 She added rich (pretended) cream—it seemed a wilful waste,
For though she overflowed the cup, it did not change the taste.
She asked, “Take milk?” or “Sugar?” and though I answered,
She put them in, and told me that I “must take it so!”
She ’d say “Another cup, Papa?” and I, “No, thank you, Ma’am,”
But then I had to take it—her courtesy was sham.
Still, being neither green, nor black, nor English-breakfast tea,  
It did not give her guests the “nerves”—whatever those may be.  
Though often I upset my cup, she only minded when  
I would mistake the empty cups for those she ’d filled again.  
She tasted my cup gingerly, for fear I ’d burn my tongue;  
Indeed, she really hurt my pride—she made me feel so young.  
I must have drunk some two score cups, and Dorothy sixteen,  
Allowing only needful time to pour them, in between.
We stirred with massive pewter spoons, and sipped in courtly ease,  
With all the ceremony of the stately Japanese.  
At length she put the cups away.
“Goodnight, Papa,” she said;  
And I went to a real tea, and Dorothy to bed.

Coffee People

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“Coffee is a lot like people. In many ways, it’s deceiving. The sweetness that you smell as it brews is more often than not a fallacy. The scent of a dark roasted coffee bean promises you rich flavors with hints of chocolate and hazelnut, but if you’re not used to coffee’s deceptiveness, you’re left with a bitter aftertaste dangling at the back of your throat. To those of us who are used to it- we’ve grown a fondness for that bitter taste. It’s complex. It’s teasing. It reminds us that most things in life are not consistently sweet with every sip. One morning, your coffee might brew mild with just a flirtation of nutty undertones, And the next morning, it might be pelting you in the face with those same nuts, leaving little stinging marks with each sip. It’s moody. It’s not easy to perfect. But when you get the perfect brew, it’s rewarding. And that same perfection is not guaranteed tomorrow just because you managed it today.”

― Katana Collins, Soul Stripper


Sun’s Up, Coffee’s Hot

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Sun is up, coffee’s hot,

a roll and fruit just hits the spot.

I read the paper, check the mail

then I’m off to the shower

before I ever set sail on life’s big open sea;

whisper a prayer,

‘O Lord please be with me.’

Not much time

in these long busy days

of decisions and deadlines

all lost in a haze.

Out in the world,

reality screams

and simply drowns out

my gauzy thin dreams.

I drag myself home

at the end of the day,

in a sigh of relief

that at last I can stay

here in my castle,

my little retreat,

kick off my shoes

and put up my feet.

And I wonder…

Will this all wash away

in a fresh morning shower,

can I hope to recover

youthful dreams and power

when every tomorrow

brings age and sorrow;

when the sun is up, coffee’s hot,

a roll and fruit just hits the spot?

– Carolyn Brunelle

Saving the World…

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“The philosopher Sir James Mackintosh had said that the powers of a man’s mind were proportionate to the quantity of coffee he drank, and Voltaire had knocked back fifty cups of it a day, so Ianto reckoned there had to be something in it. And saving Cardiff from the kinds of things that came through the Rift called for quick, inspired thinking, so Ianto took it upon himself to make sure the coffee was good. Ianto Jones, saving the world with a dark roast.”

– Phil Ford