Coffee is best enjoyed in a glass or a mug, preferably sitting down. You can also have a quick espresso standing up while rushing in the morning, but it’s nicer to sip it while sitting at the table with a friend, or reading the paper, or listening to music. I don’t recommend drinking coffee while listening to the news or surfing the Internet on your computer or phone – you won’t get the same relaxing effect.
Just to be fair – especially nowadays, when any preference for one thing over the other is liable to be extremist and exclusionary – I will note that there are some people who prefer tea to coffee. I have nothing against them, but somehow I find that generally they are not among my closest friends.
Of course, there are gradations when it comes to coffee too. It’s no surprise that when you pour boiling water over that grayish-brown powder that is sold under the name of coffee, what you get is bland-tasting, brownish water that smells like disinfectant. In Israel we call this instant coffee nes-café (“miracle coffee”). I’d say it’s a miracle that anybody drinks this tasteless stuff rather than a decent cup of coffee.
My rule of thumb goes as follows: If no very dark and grainy paste remains on the bottom of the cup, the kettle or the macchinetta, then the drink should not rightly be called coffee.
I myself will always go for a good Turkish coffee over a bland espresso from the office machine. For something I’m going to be ingesting at least five times a day, sometimes as many as ten, I try to obtain really good beans, or excellent ground coffee, and I prepare the drink carefully and properly. Sometimes, drinking it will help a clear and important thought to take shape; other times, it helps dispel an anxiety or fear that has been festering for too long. Stop for a moment and smell the coffee, and only then sit down to sip it with pleasure. The experts have yet to discover that it is harmful, so for now they’re okay with us drinking it to our heart’s content, and in public places to boot.
Chicken with beer and coffee
This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. The chicken marinates in the beer and coffee for a long time to absorb the flavor, and what you get is a dark and juicy chicken, with a slightly meaty, bittersweet flavor. The lemon placed inside the chicken during roasting helps to maintain freshness, so the meat comes out very tender. You can also add to the marinade hot chili pepper, or a teaspoon of cocoa, for a very Central American flavor.
This is a rich, soft challah, with a touch of tangy coffee flavor. Eat it warm, spread with butter or chocolate spread, or use it to make a sandwich with sour cream and chives. Make the espresso to put in the challah just before you need it, and cool it with a little water before adding to the dough. For a stronger coffee taste, substitute some of the water for another shot of espresso. Another option is to add two tablespoons of fine-quality cocoa to the dough before kneading, for a mocha-chocolate flavored challah.
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