Saturday, February 26, 2005

Java Jive

I am now and have been for several years, a devotée of Peets coffee. No, they don't pay me, but I shill for them constantly. They have the most consistently high quality beans, and roast them nice and dark like I like, and they are almost always nice and fresh and oily. When I first moved to LA, I had to mail order, but now they have several locations within a few miles, which gladdens my heart each time I find a new one. I'm particularly fond of the coffees from the Pacific: Sumatra, Aged Indonesian, Kona. I'll occasionally foray into the African varieties, but steer clear of the Mexican and South American beans. Way too acidic. "Columbian coffee--the richest kind?" To that I say Feh! Put it up against a good Sumatra and it capitulates like a wet paper towel. For my decaf though, I tend to stick with French Roast. It still has that decaf flatness, but less so than others I've tried.

I don't understand LA's fascination with and success of The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf chain. The two or three times I've tried a cup of their coffee, it tasted like so much dishwater. The beans seem to be dry and roasted to a wimpy tan. The only think I can figure out to explain their success is that Brad Pitt supposedly used to frequent their Larchmont location (pre-Jen) and gave it that star caché. I'll occasionally hit Starbucks in a pinch for a latte, but don't buy their beans.

I buy beans whole and grind them right before use, which drives the spousal unit crazy. He doesn't like coffee, has never been a coffee drinker, and tries to dismiss my love affair with the dark brew as a garden variety addiction. I've been through several coffee makers through the years; right now I have one of those thermos ones. I love coffee made with a French press, but I love being able to set a timer and wake up to the Gurgle of Life and the lovely aroma even more.