I’m always looking for the perfect cup of coffee, and a great doughnut to complement it. I’ve been everywhere from the legendary Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, California to the unique Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—driving from Maryland each time for the experience of a classic dish in and of itself. I’ve tasted roasts from all over the world: café, kape, caife, coffee, C 8 H 10 N 4 O 2 (caffeine). It seems that no matter what language you say it in, coffee evokes something in us. Maybe you think of your first taste when you were a child. Bitter. Acidic. Face like you just sucked a lemon.
When I think of java’s counterpart, I remember driving up to Philly just for a freshly fried doughnut dusted with strawberry and lavender flavored sugar. Good jamocha and doughnuts are really hard to come by. Or so it seems. I tend to think of how I desecrated my first cup with sugar. I thought I didn’t like a strong brew, when what I really didn’t like was a bitter brew. I had no idea that ordinary kosher salt could make the grounds less acidic, or that the optimum time to pour my boiled water was fifteen seconds off the burner.
Great mud doesn’t have to be hard, expensive, or time consuming. To me, it’s about the art, the science, and the ritual of brewing something that dates back to 800 B.C.E Africa; when one goat, having chewed on some cherry-red berries, changed the course of human history. It’s time to change it again.