Friday, May 03, 2024


The first thing is putting the water on. Loading a pipe may be the fifth or sixth thing, but hot water for a caffeinated beverage always comes first. Everything else depends on that. Coffee is the beverage that most people here start their day with. It's what unites us. Also what divides us, because everyone always sneers at how every one else makes it, and how they like it -- let's not talk about all those syruppy add-ins at chain coffee places because that's disgusting -- and it sets us apart from the Europeans who almost universally lament that there is no decent coffee in the United States good lord those Yanks are a depraved lot!

It stands to reason that this apartment is ground zero for good coffee, and some excellent brews may be had within a radius of one or two miles. It goes sharply downhill once you leave the city, and falls off a cliff once you are out of the Bay Area. Between here and New York it's all roadhouse swill fit for truckers and inbred people. Surely you know that?

As for the Europeans, many of them represent a narrow spectrum of DNA because of their ancestry being limited in range (rather like decent coffee in that radius of one or two miles), having bred with fellow villagers for ten thousand years or whatever, and they are certain that only people who speak exactly like they do are human anyway, bah, American English!
So we'll ignore them. Different planet.
One cannot smoke the first pipe of the day without having had coffee first. Wandering around the neighborhood without it is like stumbling through a fog. Who is that person who just ran past wearing electric green sports shorts, and why is this dog defecating at this curb exactly next to the red Toyota? Why is someone nearby frying a batch of car tires? Is that a pigeon up ahead, or a space alien? What is Pi to the twentieth decimal?

These are not questions one has after drinking coffee.
Coffee is both the solution and the answer.

It's time for another cup.

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Anonymous said...

Due to necessary and recent cost cutting measures, instant Nescafé is all I have for a caffeine fix. Not belonging to any special clubs like COSTCO or Sam’s means I must contend with every day retail pricing. In happier times, it’s the darkest of dark roasts, whole bean, made with a coffee press. So I must ask, can you recommend a place in the City for reasonably priced whole beans by the pound? Asking for a friend. Thanks in advance.

The back of the hill said...

I always recommend Peet's and the Caffe Trieste. But, um, the price ...

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