Getting up is made considerably easier for me these days thanks to two things. The first is this, which is a pretty kickass bridge from dreamland to reality:
The other is coffee, specifically the amazing organic unwashed Ethiopian grown primarily by the Abela Galuko co-op of the Sidama Cooperative Union and roasted by (2011 Micro Roaster of the Year) Conscious Coffees of Boulder, Colorado.
As you may know, coffee begins as a fruit which resembles a cherry. The beans themselves are contained within the fruit, usually in pairs. An unwashed coffee is one that has been dry processed— the harvested coffee cherry is allowed to dry slowly in the sun, which can take up to a month, during which time it is raked and turned to allow for consistent drying. Coffee producers aim for 12.5% moisture content at the end of the drying process. Much more than that and the beans are prone to fungal and bacterial disease, and any less can result in cracked beans further down the line. Only once the coffee is dried sufficiently are the exocarp (skin), mesocarp (pulp), and endocarp (seed coat) removed, and the coffee beans ready for roasting. (For those whose interest in coffee processing has been piqued, the International Coffee Organization serves as an excellent resource.)
I first encountered this coffee as part of my August MistoBox shipment, and since I tend to prefer Ethiopian coffees over all others, I saved it until last to try. The moment I opened my sample package and stuck my nose inside, I was wide awake, and thinking, “This smells like chocolate-covered strawberries and caramel,” so intense were the aromas. I couldn’t stop myself from sniffing it repeatedly. After grinding. As it brewed. Throughout the day, long after the brew had been drunk. I thought about how much I loved the smell of this coffee so much that it soon became apparent that I NEEDED to buy a grown-up-sized canister of the stuff.
Because as enticing as the aromas are, the coffee they make retains them and more.
I brewed at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or 93 degrees Rest of the World) in a french press, and steeped for 4 minutes.
Conscious Coffees gives these beans a light roast to preserve the berry notes, and this definitely carries over into the cup.
As a result, any of my neighbors who happen to glance in my windows in the morning have the misfortune of seeing me attempting to dance the Banana Split without splashing myself with hot beverage. A losing proposition, the dancing. A winning cup, the coffee.