Oct 10, 2009

Inspiring coffee

Good coffee inspires me.

Not the external kind of inspiration causing me to grab crampons and head for Mt Everest, but the internal kind of inspiration that affects my intellect or emotions, which interestingly sometimes forces the external form of inspiration (but that's a whole different topic).

Coffee inspiration usually expresses itself through a flash of memory, which can somehow be related to what I'm experiencing in the cup in that moment, such as happened this morning... or it might be an appropriate construct of my imagination such as a combination of sounds, smells, locations or such things that might by example place me in a Middle Eastern bazaar (that I've been to) but with somewhat different smells or noises or occurrences that somehow tie to the coffee that I'm experiencing at that moment. Wow, great run-on sentence.

Good coffee can transport my thoughts or emotions instantly if I pay attention to the moment. Of course the key is the paying attention part. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's ok, either you haven't drank really good coffee, or you haven't paid much attention to what you are experiencing in the moment. Maybe you are just drinking something brown and hot, no thoughts, no taste, just brown and hot, the end. That's fine. Don't go a changin' on my behalf, this isn't a lecture, it's just a rambling observation from my day. So what's causing the rambling today?

This morning I hooked up with Shawn in downtown Calgary for a couple of Clover coffee's at Kawa Coffee. We split the 2009 Honduras CoE Lot #3 - El Manzano which scored an 89.27 at the CoE and got purchased by 49th Parallel Roasters, the other cup was the Tanzania Karmaro Microlot also from 49th Parallel Roasters. The Honduran was easily superior in my opinion, I'm not sure the Tanzanian was presenting it's best qualities out of the Clover but if it was I would rate it as decent but not great. SO there's the details, what about the inspiration? Well that would fall to the Honduran coffee. Right around my fourth or fifth sip of the El Manzano I synced the coffee moment to a memory in the late 90's of me sitting in a famous Opera House in Berlin during a performance of The Magic Flute, which by the way was fantastic. There is a moment in the opera where one of the female leads sings a beautiful dancing high piece and it flash associated itself with the early sips of the Honduran.

Look for 42 seconds into this, not 41 seconds... 42 seconds:

Now, the female part in this YouTube clip plays a darker interpretation of the aria, so the visuals don't really jive with the Honduran coffee moment but the high notes of the singing do. Those high notes represent perfectly what I experienced in the cup this morning for a brief moment. Inspiring.

I suppose this post will only make sense to a few, sorry about that, if it doesn't make any sense at all don't worry... ;-)


John F said...

You have brought me to an interesting thought. It's only in some cases that transportational coffee takes you to a known place. Others it's not known (at least not in the sense of traditionally known things).

I've never thought of that distinction before.....it's interesting.

Wonder what makes the difference....then again does it matter? ;)

Shaun Taylor said...

That's what I have been pondering for a while, the difference between known and unknown experience transportation's.

I've come to the conclusion it probably doesn't matter but it might be nice to isolate it to a 'red pill' vs. 'blue pill' coffee decision. Then again the randomness might be the way to go. Hahaha.

John F said...

Well...it's sure something worth thinking about over a nice pourover or two.

Shaun Taylor said...

One thing I do know, it's better to consider this one with like-minded coffee drinkers. Doing it in isolation has me no further ahead.

John F said...

That is an official bummer compadre.

Shaun Taylor said...

Indeed. Thus the post and the virtual group coffee discussion.

Scripture Zealot said...

I might call this instance transportational.

Same thing can happen with sounds, smells etc. but your example is very complex.

It's great when coffee offers us an exceptional experience.