I was a teenage coffee snob.
I would not drink an espresso shot unless it was pulled in 20 seconds. I refused to drink coffee that wasn’t freshly ground — in a burr grinder — immediately before brewing. I would not subject coffee I brewed to the abuse of a coffee-maker hot plate, insisting instead on a thermal carafe.
During the time in high school and college I spent as a barista, I looked down on the idiots to whom I served almond-coconut lattes with soy milk. And would I smile when a customer ordered a double machiato. They knew what they were drinking; they were a kindred coffee spirit.
Flash forward several years. A friend is explaining why she hates visiting her father-in-law. He is a cheapskate for the ages. She enumerates the sins of his cheapness. Then, at least as I remember it, she gets to the story’s kicker.
He actually makes, she says with a tone that suggests that this sin is akin to winging trespassing neighborhood children with a BB-gun, he actually makes a pot of coffee every morning that he drinks the entire day, long after it has become drinkable and gets pissed if I pour it out and make fresh.
And that’s where she lost me. While I was too ashamed to admit it then, I will now: I drink day-old coffee all the time.
I resisted drinking day-old coffee for so long, either dumping the leftovers or serving them to my wife. But now I find finding left-over coffee in the pot a minor pleasure: in the morning means drinking coffee without the fuss of making it.
Sure their are times when the bitter skunkiness of day-old coffee sends spasms down my spine, but if Michael Ruhlman can profess a deep love for percolators and Folgers, surely I can live down a willingness to drink day-old coffee.