January 28, 2009

Being Slow

(Horse, cart, people and goats in Kaolack, Senegal, by Mike Levin)

I woke up this morning ready for a cup of coffee. Last night, I watched a show about Ethiopia on the travel channel. It reminded me of the coffee I bought a few months ago from the local Ethiopian restaurant. The whole process of roasting your own coffee intrigued me. I tried it myself and loved it. It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes to put the green beans in a pot, open all the windows and shut off the smoke alarm, and roast them yourself. It would take me just as long to ride my bike to the coffee shop and buy some roasted coffee. But, how long has the coffee been sitting, roasted, leaking out all those wonderful flavors and aromas?

So, I’m roasting some happy, green, Ethiopian beans as I write this article. The beans are crackling. The wind is blowing through the house. I smell roasting coffee and it’s good. In a few minutes, I’ll scoop out a handful and grind them. Then, I’ll make some delicious coffee.

It occurs to me that there’s a difference between being slow and planning ahead. I’m grinning as I write this. The slow food movement promotes not only savoring every bite of your meal, but buying locally. The thing about roasting your own coffee is that it tastes best right after it’s roasted. So, you have to take your time. If you want a cup of fresh roasted coffee, it’s going to take a little while.

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