("My Ultimate" will run every-other Tuesday and will feature any topic that hops into my head. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other New England Mamas. . . although they should).
My muse was a neighbor, about 15 years my senior. Every time I walked up the steps of our corridor and entered her apartment, she'd have a pot of freshly brewed coffee waiting for me. Her coffee was strong but had hints of sweetness around the edges, and we'd talk over mug-fulls---me, the recent college graduate with no clue; her, the worldly widow with great taste in food and drink.
After I moved from that apartment, I forgot about her coffee. I still loved to start my day with a cup, but was often left unsatisfied. Breakfast Blends? Too bland. Dunkin Donuts? Too flat. Starbucks? Too burnt tasting. Flavored Coffee? OK in moderation, but not for everyday. I experimented with different blends, different beans; most were drinkable but didn't have staying power.
Things started to change once I rediscovered The Coffee Exchange. Having lived for a long while in Providence, The Coffee Exchange had been a regular haunt; morning, afternoon, evening---it didn't matter. This small, cramped coffeehouse with the posters hanging all over the walls was a comfortable oasis with great coffee. And, while the location was now too far for me to visit daily, their online ordering capabilities gave me the chance to drink their coffee again.
Around the time I started ordering my coffee online, I also recalled the coffee I had enjoyed at my neighbor's home many years ago. It took me a while to remember the ratios she had used, but I got it. Then, it took me a while to find the 'right' French Roast to use as the base. Some were too strong and took over. Some were too wimpy and let the other flavors take over. The right one was like Baby Bear's chair in Goldilocks: Just Right.
So, here is My Ultimate Coffee Blend. I order it in four-pound batches because it is easy to remember and also because The Coffee Exchange offers free shipping on four-pound orders. I mix the beans myself and store them in airtight jars in my kitchen cupboards, usually grinding up a few days' worth of beans at a time.
And, don't worry if you do not particularly care for any one of the individual coffees listed. My husband hates Hazelnut coffee, but it doesn't jump out and take over when blended with the others. Just be sure to let people know it is in your coffee in case you have someone with a nut allergy visiting your home.
(order Whole Bean and grind as needed)
Two Pounds of Santo Domingo French Roast
One Pound of Mocha Java Blend
One Pound of Hazelnut
May you enjoy good coffee every day!