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A Good Short Black Coffee

A Good Short Black Coffee
26 May 2016 0 Comment

The body aches and complains as I drag myself out of bed early; things to do, cats to feed and those glowing embers need caressing back to life to become a real fire again to take the early morning chill out of the kitchen. All of the above is mere foreplay as I move towards making my first coffee of the day and it has to be said, the most enjoyable coffee of the day.

The ritual is always the same. A thorough washing of my moka coffee maker with clear water and NO soap at all; I have always used the stainless steel version. I simply cannot believe that using the aluminum type is a healthy option having seen first-hand how they “pit” so easily; no it’s stainless steel or nothing for me. I like a long black so my little two cup moka machine is a perfect fit and I use Lavazza Qualita Oro (who unfortunately are not sponsoring this article) and have done so for years. It’s a rich, dense Arabic coffee (slightly less bitter) with a smooth flavor; however I do pack about 3 heaped teaspoons into my little machine and then on to the gas while I prepare something sweet to have with it.

Now I know everybody has their own way to prepare a short black but if you are inclined to turn the gas off once your hear the first sounds of percolation, don’t! Short coffee needs to cook a little; I mean why make it if you dilute the punch and while it’s not a good idea to burn it, you get to learn to know the sound of when it’s ready to turn the gas off knowing that what is now in the top part of your machine is a coffee to die for. I DO preheat my little cup and spill around half a teaspoon of “white” sugar into it and then the pour and I’m looking for steam and the sound of hissing heat and then the aroma; it just makes me smile as I sit and begin to sip – bliss!

Like most “world’s” today, a once simple thing like enjoying a coffee has become big business, which means lots of rather silly marketing wrapped around events and competitions with handsome titles to be won and coffee celebrities waiting to be born (you know the drill); which of course has driven the cost of enjoying a cup of java up and up. The social pressure of drinking the right type at the right spot can be enormous depending upon the circles you move in and I swear there are women in inner city Melbourne that imbibe several times a day at the tune of $4 a cup (an outrage) that must have their husbands working plenty of overtime!

And now there is the “great cappuccino debate” that is adding another layer of marketing pomposity to the world of coffee consumption. To stir or not to stir; thick foam or none; is your cappuccino really a cappuccino or is it really a flat white incognito? And we have the emergence of “coffee experts” who will no doubt try their hardest to create a global coffee movement and still they will miss the point. However no matter how much Big Mac Marketing touts all sorts of new coffee fads, nothing compares to a hot, dark, made to perfection, short black first thing in the morning before the silliness of the world has had the chance to invade your thoughts. As Mr. T. S. Eliot said, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” Bliss indeed.

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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