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BIBLIOGRIND

Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Craving Coffee — No Pot for Brewing

I remember Sanka instant coffee as a child. I didn’t drink the stuff—I was just a kid. But I watched my grandmother measure teaspoons of this chocolate-colored pebbles, like bits of stone found in the playground. Hot water melted Sanka into a watery brown soup. I don’t even want to try and tell you what that looked like.

I once dipped the end of my finger into the “aromatic crystals” and collected a dozen or so on my skin. They looked like black stars on a vanilla midnight. I touched my tongue to the crystals, thinking they DID look like chocolate. The bitter flavor that struck my senses stays with me today.

A while later, I tasted Sanka’s steamy soup, in a restaurant when I needed something to keep me awake while on the road. This was equally an act of meeting demons head on. I spit the demon back into the cup, and ordered double chocolate cake and a large Coke.

Nestle Instant Espresso is Good For You!Now, down the road a gray-haired ways, I bought a jar of Nescafé instant espresso. I have to be honest here: the advertising sold me on this one, which is something to say against my usual “I buy nothing based on advertising!” code of honor. Hell, it’s hard enough wearing Nike shoes without putting tape across swoosh. But this coffee, the photo had me by the colors: small cup, creamy topping, a wee-whisp of aromatic vapor rising from the foam. I guess all the tea I’ve been drinking hasn’t satisfied the taste I’d been craving.

I bought this jar of instant espresso, its promise of a café lifestyle brewing right off the label. The Sanka of yesteryear floated across my eyes. This time … this time life would be different.

3 Comments »

  mlbeyer wrote @ September 30th, 2008 at 2:05 am

Very nicely written. Me being Mikayla, I have to ask: which grandmother, Nana or Grandmother Otten?

  JenniferM wrote @ September 30th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Might I suggest a french press… they’re easy, cheap, and available at IKEA

  Mark wrote @ September 30th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

“cheap” is relative in Prague. For example: if you run a stop siign, it’ll cost you $40, but not a trip to traffic court; if you want to buy a hardback book (English or Czech), it’ll cost you $50. All the same, I’ve yet to find a French press in Prague.

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