Friday, November 05, 2010

the dicky betts' coffee club

way back in college i developed this passion for coffee. brewed coffee. i remember that i only started with instant coffee before. i drank coffee especially during those times when i had to "burn the midnight oil" to finish my piled up school work believing in that oft-repeated reminder that coffee will keep you awake long hours. well, to tell the truth, instant coffee did not keep me awake long hours. it's my determination to finish the assignments that kept me up.

i think my love for brewed coffee started during that one afternoon after school when my friend freddie, knowing i don't have classes anymore, invited me to go with him to the Rizal Park which was just a few blocks from our school. we were to practice some taichi. this is an old chinese slow exercise that we were trying to learn. shadow-boxing, you might call it that way. the books say this exercise is both beneficial to the body and to the mind. this helps to attune both to the finer, subtle vibrations of being. after our awkward attempts at it, we decided to call it quits and proceeded to the nearby breakwater where the sea fronts the park.

before we sat by the breakwater wall my friend whisked me to a nearby food kiosk.

" i know you love to drink coffee, have you ever tasted brewed coffee? " freddie asked me. he did not wait for my answer. i know the look on my face said it all. he ordered 2 cups. i looked up at the menu list. brewed coffee -- 15 pesos. i mentally counted the money i have. this is out of my daily budget. i will have to skip one of my rides home to fund this. but i have to humor my friend, and besides, the aroma of the coffee is already beguiling my senses. this was long before any starbucks or any other cafe shop can be imagined to sprout in this country. now, a comparable order for the one we just had costs about 110 pesos on the average.

with steaming cups of coffee in our fists we scurried back to sit on top of the breakwater wall. the famous luneta sunset was beginning to showcase her splendor. it was exhilarating to look at the sea. without any obstructions. just its vast expanse and over at the horizon it seemingly melds itself into the yell0w-orange-red of the sky. it seemed the setting sun was slowly dancing her way to plunge into the depths of the sea. to cool herself. the sun, she was performing her own taichi before us.

my first sip of brewed coffee? Heaven! the smell was unforgettable, the richness, the flavor, was exquisite. it was black. you can't see the bottom of the cup. if you tilt the cup towards the sun, you can see its yellow-orange-red disc reflected on the surface of this wonderful black brew. i decided this will not be my last visit here. i will gladly sacrifice a few miles of walking towards home just so i can relive this. there's no way i can ask my parents to increase my daily school budget.

and so, the dicky betts' coffee club was born. with only one member. me. well, i named my club dicky betts because it was during those times when my friends and i were all agog over the guitar work of dicky betts of the allman brothers band. the song was -- in memory of elizabeth reed.

sitting there, freddie and i discussed things about life. about this wonderful way of life called mysticism, which our small band of friends managed to discover starting in high school and on into college, and will definitely be on into up to the twilight of our lives. mysticism. it is said there are built in natural laws which govern existence. if one lives by these natural laws, one will be in total harmony with everything. it is said the paramount duty of man is to realize that he is not just this body alone. the real man is deep inside each of us. this is the lesson being taught by the Great Masters. we are individualized sparks of Light. to be full man is to know the real Man. we all must go inside our selves. to know the real Self is to know the meaning of Life.

to savor great coffee, one must not drink instant coffee. one must experience it being brewed, inhale its aroma, see the black liquid slowly being extracted from the ground beans, dropping taichi-like into the coffee bowl. every precious drop embodying all that true coffee stands for.

one must brew one's Self to find one's True Life . .

*** rizal park photo by neysa saguid copyright@2010


Christopher Dos Santos said...

I am so glad i went to your older posts today. I have thoroughly enjoyed this post. I sold brewed coffee services to offices in Vancouver for six years. Like you my first sip got me hooked. I prefer a good Arabica bean roasted dark and ground extra fine. Any Arabica can work but Hawaiian is splendid. The key to great coffee is in micro roasting the bean, grinding finely shortly after cooling and using a simple French press to brew.

A good quality French press is about $ 20 USD. But in a market a cheap Chinese made press can go for as little as $ 5 dollars. There are micro roasters in your city who will sell you cheap their product if you get to know them or commit to working a few hours a week to earn some of their fresh roasted coffee. The latter is best as you can learn more about what you like best. Remember stick to Arabica bean as the Robusta beans leave a wine like after taste when cools. Even a poor quality Arabica bean will outperform the best Robusta.

Now that you have your French press and a contact with a local micro roaster you are ready to begin your journey to the best cup of coffee you can savor.

If you can't muster up the pesos don't worry my brother, just let me know. I will purchase a French press and send it off with some dark and medium roast to get you started. Too late to be a Christmas present, but why do we need an occasion to love each other right? May the coffee gods shine love into your belly...

In Lak' esh, my brother Sito, Fresh from the higher elevations of Hawaii the Arabica rules...

sito saguid said...

haha, brother, truly, may the coffee gods shine love into our bellies. here's to you .... as for the french press don't worry i'll find one. thanks for this coffee lesson.