Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Strawberries? In December?

Strawberry. Plantain. Syrupy. So read the description on the package of Metropolis' Costa Rican Perla Negra I'd just picked up. I worried they'd gone sappy up there in Edgewater. I mean, I understood the decision to move from more prose-like descriptions to the hard and direct system of few words as indication of what one might expect from a certain coffee, but this was too much. This described a smoothie--or worse: a slurpie.

But then, at home later, I boiled some water and ground some of the beans. And as soon as the hot water hit the grind, I said to myself, "why do I smell berries? It's December!" I looked in the fridge, trying to remember if I had something berry-laden left over from a Salon. No. I scanned the countertop, thinking something must have been left out, some jam, or the kombucha had picked up a weird strain perhaps--or wait! The Super Bubble in the cabinet! No. And finally, looking at the brew sitting on the counter I recalled the words from the bag. I approached the thick mix of ground beans and hot water, and yes indeed...the strawberry aroma was steaming up from the coffee! Weird! And behind it--the rich, almost sticky aroma of banana...but earthier, and not quite as sweet...perhaps a touch greener. Plantain!

Feeling embarrassed at my excitement over something I usually try to avoid--bypassing actual multi-sensual enjoyment of food, wine, beer, and yes, coffee for esoteric, cerebral reasons as the food/drink gets cold or flat (second only to relentlessly taking cell-phone photos while forgetting to actually experience the food)--I poured the coffee, kept with the usual gameplan of sticking my nose in the cup, and enjoyed the aromas, not to mention the astute olfactory palates of the fellows up at Metropolis. Well done guys!