Coffee Improv

A time of instability, of change, of liminality. A state of limbo. A temporary space. A KITCHEN WITHOUT A COFFEE GRINDER.

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SAD FACE.

This was where I found myself a couple of months ago, when, fed up with bleak, plodding, coffee-less mornings, I resorted to a technique that I sometimes use to grind spices in a pinch. (Pre-ground spices, like pre-ground coffee, are never a good option. Unless you’re camping, in which case Nescafe paired with fakey-flavored instant oatmeal represents an acme of sensory delight.)

I took a glass jar, a wooden cutting board, and some coffee beans. I pounded, crushed, and rolled. After several minutes of effort, I had broken the beans into smaller pieces. Success! A novelty mug in the form of a misshapen breast, its handle a contorted nude woman, its nipple featuring a felicitous hole, served as an ersatz Melitta.

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The resulting brew was weak and unsatisfying, but still recognizable as coffee and thus, better than nothing (my grind was too coarse for the pour-over method. It probably would have made a decent French press).

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