The Bean Bang Theory explained. Finally.

September 17, 2008

A sharp knock. An unexpected visitor. A man looming in my doorway, paper bags clutched in his hand.

He tells me he wants to make my head explode. He wants to stop my heart.

“What? Again?”

Richard Corney had read my blog about his new company, Flight Coffee. He was disappointed the beans he gave me earlier hadn’t induced the BANG! effect I’ve received (and enjoyed — I call it a Brain Orgasm) from other filter/drip brews. He’s come to my home, bearing three more samples, fresh out of his roaster. He is determined to shock my system, as all good coffee should.

I like Richard. He’s a mate. We share a passion for coffee. And by passion, I actually mean PASSION. Last wish before the firing squad? Coffee, please. Oh, and hold the milk. I’m not dying with a foam mustache, thanking you.

We also share a history.

His Espresso Garden Cafe was the second company I featured when I started as a freelance writer for the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper in Napier, New Zealand. The story on Flight Coffee will be my final story before I move on to greener pastures (read full-time employment).

I want to say nice things about Richard Corney. I want to say nice things about Flight Coffee. After all, I’ve seen him at work, watched him fuss over his roaster like Dr. Frankenstein tinkering with his creature. Timing, adjusting, fretting, hoping, muttering, pacing — all in the quest for the perfect cup of joe.

And then I had the gall to say I’ve had better.

I try to explain to Richard that my “better” involved Starbucks, where they have all this fancy, expensive equipment, none of which currently resides in my kitchen. Starbucks built its reputation on coffee — filter and espresso. It lives and dies by the bean. I cannot possibly hope to duplicate their filtering process in my humble abode. Well, not until I win Lotto, that is.

But I try. And I hope. And I cross my fingers and hold my breath and brew. The very next morning.

But I can already tell by the colour of the stream pouring from the carafe that I have failed. Richard put his heart and soul into roasting this batch of Mandling Sumatra beans and I’m about to go all Rome on him and turn my thumb down.

Maybe it’s my coffee machine. Or its mesh filter. Maybe my grinder is old. And dull. Or I’m grinding it too fine. Maybe it’s actually a dark roast that clenches my heart like a sphincter and Richard has supplied me with light and medium.

Maybe it’s simply a matter of taste. After all, Viking Woman loves spicy food, but I find it burns all the way down and all the way out. Blisters on my tongue, blisters on my colon — not a pretty sight.

There are a million reasons for the no-BANG! theory and not one of them has anything to do with Flight Coffee. Or that crazed mad scientist of a Richard Corney.

Later, in the dead zone that is the afternoon — when any sane freelance writer should be napping to conserve his energy for the big night of TV viewing ahead — I decide to try again.

This time I use the French press. This time I grind for only 10 John Seconds (measured in rhythmic nods of my great pumpkin of a head), thus making for a coarser grind.

And this time there is something. Not quite a BANG! perhaps, but most definitely a WTF!

I smile. I smack my lips. My fingers tremble from the caffeine high and my bladder screams as it spasms and I know sleep will not come easy to me tonight. And I do not care.

Richard, you little beauty, you legend, you have fed my jones and my jones liked it.

Liked it a lot.

Now my jones, my NEED, my habit, requires more. I may very well be addicted to Flight Coffee. I’m going to assume that’s a good thing.

We must, however, never discount what I like to call the Free Factor. To date, Richard has been kind enough to give me samples. And, as my brother Jerry likes to say (albeit in reference to beer), free just tastes better. I’m assuming the same holds true for coffee . . .

. . . Nah! This is just good shit. End. Of. Story.

Now stand back. If this cranium of mine goes off, it’s going to get awfully messy in here.


One Response to “The Bean Bang Theory explained. Finally.”

  1. Alice Grey said

    I’m still reading and still enjoying. I had a really good chuckle at your response to my first comment – thought it was hilarious.

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