Piker Press Banner
July 15, 2024

Coffee of Course

By Lydia Manx

"What is this swill?" Karla puckered up and was nearly unable to swallow. She looked into her cup, it was three quarters full and murky brown. She sniffed the edge, further wrinkling her face in disgust.

"Coffee." Brad added some more raw sugar and stirred his cup briskly. Karla thought for a minute about stirring some in hers but figured it would just be a waste of the sugar and her time.

"No, this is not coffee. Dirty water at best. How the hell did you make it?" Karla got up and walked to the sink dumping out the remainder of liquid down the drain.

"In the coffee pot. How else?" Brad took a deeper pull from his cup and shrugged. He seemed to find the taste normal. He resisted mocking Karla because she would definitely make him pay later.

She rinsed out her cup and placed it upside-down in the strainer. After randomly opening and looking in a few cupboards she found the can. Thrusting it in Brad's face she said, "This is not coffee! This is the ruination of America and all the values we should hold dear. We don't drink tea! We drink coffee, by God. And coffee should be tasty and fresh ground. Not," she tilted the plastic container towards her face and read, "What is it here, 'mountain grown'! This came down the mountain from the back of an ass alright."

Dramatic to the core Karla slapped the coffee container on the countertop and said, "Abomination of the magical fruit of the world. It should be carefully plucked when lusciously red and then once it is ready, it should be roasted to perfection and afterwards ground precisely and put into an airtight container at the shop where it is purchased and brewed the same day. Not something on the grocery store shelf for months at a time and an expiration date of a year from now."

Brad continued to drink his coffee while Karla paced and ranted. He didn't see that she really needed coffee given her current level hyperactivity. He knew better than to say anything. He never really needed to say a word with her since she carried both sides of the conversation rather well without his interrupting her flow. His brain was still fuzzy with sleep anyways.

"I am going out for real coffee. Are you coming or not?" Karla had got her purse and was pacing by the door.

"No. I don't care about fancy coffee. This works. Chill out, Karla. It's just coffee." Brad made his first verbal mistake of the day without realizing it. Karla bristled and mentally scored a chalk mark in her head, Brad would pay for that later. Telling her to chill out.

"No, that's not coffee! I will be back later." Karla stormed out, babbling more things Brad tuned out. She'd be back even wound tighter after whatever rocket fuel she downed hit maximum overdrive. His Saturday was going to be longer than he had planned with her in a tizzy. Hell, he poured himself another cup and added sugar slowly.

Over two hours later Brad was laughing at something on ESPN when he heard the back door slam shut. He clicked the volume off on the TV. No sounds came from the kitchen. Glancing at the clock on the wall he was amazed how much time had passed. He had half a cup left of the pot of coffee brewed earlier and he drained it quickly so as to not have Karla go off on him again when she saw he was still drinking it.

"Hey, Karla, how did the search for coffee go?" He got off the sofa slowly. He was amazed he didn't hear anything from the kitchen. Karla was never this quiet.

"Karla?" He opened the kitchen door and saw her sitting at the table unmoving. "What's wrong?"

For a minute his heart raced as he thought she had taken his car, not hers, and maybe it was totaled. That would explain her being so silent. He picked up his pace and saw his car in the front window in the same spot he had parked it yesterday, looking none the worse for wear.

"Nothing, I just had the most perfect cup of coffee." Her eyes welled with tears.

"Then why are you crying?" Brad knew his car was okay so he waited for the drama. "You found good coffee. Better than mine. Cool."

"It wasn't that! I went down to Debbi's bookstore. You remember she was holding that book on tribal warfare and it came in yesterday? So, since I was out, I figured I would pick it up. Well, she had a friend visiting from Indonesia." Tears were still trailing down her face.

"Okay, still not following here, Honey," Brad tried to look like he cared. Her tears weren't rare but more like a daily occurrence.

"Well, he had all these little packages on the counter and was talking to Debbi when I came into buy the book. She called me over and said it was her friend Simon. I was polite, of course, and tried to see if she could get my book for me. Debbi then told me that Simon brought some of the best coffee in the world for her. I am a regular customer and she told me I am one of her favorites, can you believe that?"

Here Karla looked for something from Brad. Still clueless what the hell she was ranting about he nodded and said, "Certainly."

Karla was still tearing up but she beamed at him.

"Debbi did something so odd. She closed the store! We went back into her office area and began to brew the various coffees. There were three different types. Simon started us with the lesser quality of coffee from his home. Toraja. Yeah, Tor-a-ja. It is on the island of Java in Indonesia. Do you know they have over 17,000 islands in that country? That totally freaked me. We have like over fifty states and most folks can't name them all. He made us both repeat it and promise to read up on his hometown when we got home. He said something about dead people put into the hills above the coffee plantations."

Karla took a gulp of air and burst out with more facts and meaningless bits of information. Brad had no clue how to distract her from her rant. She tended to be a bit over-the-top and this was typical of her obsessions. He bit back a sigh and waited.

"The coffee was pure Arabica coffee. That is one of the best kinds of coffee you can get, you know!" Karla beamed through her tears. Brad still wasn't getting her. But then that was pretty normal.

"And he gave us a cup of lovely coffee. I never had coffee that good. He apologized for the poor quality. Then he brewed the next cup of Toraja coffee. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The first cup of coffee was tasty and smooth. The second cup melted into my mouth and filled me with a lovely sense of calmness. There was no bitter bite, just this mouthful of warm delightful flavor. I shuddered! Me!" She paused and paced trying to find more words.

"Help me here, Karla, why is that bad? You wanted some good coffee. Honey, it seems like you found it." Brad wanted to flip on the television and see the results of NASCAR. He knew if he pushed the sound on she would go ballistic. Experience had painfully taught him that lesson.

"I would have been okay had we stopped then. But we had one other bag of coffee to sample. It didn't look like the other stuff. It was somehow different. And Simon made us have some fruit and crackers, talking about clearing our palates. Debbi and I obliged and tried not to giggle because Simon was so serious." She sucked in air and paced. The caffeine was still running through her body. She jittered softly.

"Karla, this was good. You went out looking for some good coffee and found it. Why are you so upset?" He resisted looking over in the living room because she always caught him. He didn't need to get her any more worked up than she was already, and his watching some cars go around seemed to push every button on Karla.

"Brad, you don't understand. Simon used Debbi's French press and made the last batch of coffee. I was still savoring the good Toraja coffee and he brought out this new stuff. The highest quality Toraja coffee was absolutely amazing. It had no bitterness and was melt-in-your-mouth tasty. I was content. But he smiled and poured both of us a small cup. Debbi went to put some nondairy creamer in the cup and he stopped her." Here she shook her head in amazement.

"Okay, so what was wrong with the last coffee?" Brad itched to hit the volume on his TV. He resisted and watched Karla get worked up again.

"Absolutely nothing, it was the best cup of coffee I had ever had!!"

Brad shook his head and said, "And why is this wrong?"

"It was Kopi luwak coffee from a special location in Indonesia." She finally admitted. Then added, "And because the Kopi luwak coffee cost over $400 a pound!" Karla sobbed and Brad walked over to his girlfriend and patted her softly on the shoulder.

Brad was well-read. He paled and said, "Civet coffee? Beans from the ass of a civet? You drank some and liked it?"

She nodded. Keeping a straight face, he was happy to tell her that they could never afford such luxuries. She nodded and said, "But it was the best coffee in the world." He tried to look like he cared while making himself another pot of average coffee.

"So instead of coffee from the ass of a mule you had it from a civet?" The second verbal mistake was launched but this time he was laughing. His was just coffee after all.

Here's an interesting link about kopi luwak:

Kopi Luwak

Originally appeared 2007-01-01

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2017-05-15
Image(s) are public domain.
0 Reader Comments
Your Comments

The Piker Press moderates all comments.
Click here for the commenting policy.