With The Sound of Music firmly playing in our heads we bid so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen to Anna this week. With all her amazing Peoples experiences behind her, she will be banging out the best damn coffees in Berlin. From here I shall be your resident Peoples blogger so please let me introduce myself. My name is Beth, I’m an Aries, I have a crush on David Chang, I own too many cookbooks and if the slippery slope would allow it, I’d marry haloumi. Last year my sister and I started up a little food blog called Eat & Greet. We interview amazing people doing amazing foodie things in Wellington and recognise that behind those plates of food (or flat whites) there are interesting stories and people behind them. And if I’m being honest, deep down I want to be Norm from Cheers and walk into any eatery in Wellington and have them know my name. Progress is slow but I’m getting there.
A while back we wrote a piece on Peoples Coffee. It was inevitable really, as I’m a big fan. They are constantly thinking about that little magic bean and the people it comes into contact with during its journey from cherry to flat white. Which got me thinking about what makes a perfect coffee. Is it just up to the barista or is there something more?
After all the coffees I’ve had in this fine city of exceedingly good coffee I can actually pinpoint my best ever cuppa Joe. It was a Sunday, my head was a little dusty and I was visiting a friend in Newtown. We sat outside the Constable Street cafe in the morning sun, the local taxi drivers were having their smoko and we sat in silence reading the Sunday paper. There was that slight crispness to the air that only a sunny Autumn day can bring, the coffee was served in a mug so it meant I could cup it perfectly in my hands, thus serving the multiple purpose of handwarmer, hydrator, caffeine injector and life saver. It was just that perfect amalgamation of the smaller details.
Whether it be ferns, hearts, onions or hello kitties on the top of my coffee it makes no difference to me, I think the true skill of a barista is knowing their beans, the grind and extraction, combined with silky smooth milk that done properly, shouldn’t need sugar. Did you know correctly steaming the milk increases solubility of the lactose (milk sugars) which boosts its natural sweetness (Don’t worry it is legit, my Dad is a scientist and I did 6th form Chemistry).
So I guess there’s a little science to the perfect cup of coffee, but there is also something unmeasurable, un-peer-reviewable. In New Zealand we rarely say “I’ll meet you for a drink” as they often do in the UK, I love it that instead we “meet for coffee”. That says so much about who we are and the standard of coffee we are drinking. Coffee is about sharing those quiet moments with a life long friend or a potential job offer or meeting an exciting new friend to see if you both drink flat whites and love the new Daft Punk album. Coffee is the perfect ice breaker, present or apology and that’s maybe what makes it so special.
So it is a real honour to come on board to write for Peoples, whose coffee in the past I’ve used as an icebreaker, a present and the odd apology. I look forward to reporting to you every few weeks from the front line. Be sure to say hi if you see me around, just call me Norm!
May 29th, 2013
Posted In: Coffee