I unwrapped the birthday gift as my boyfriend watched in anticipation of a happy reaction. Voile’! I was now the proud owner of a Melitta coffee roaster. I next unwrapped a smaller package and discovered a packet of raw coffee beans. BF felt as eager as I did to convert the beige beans into dark brown beans.
We skimmed the instruction sheet then poured some of the raw beans into the appliance and turned it on. Within minutes the kitchen was filled with the seductive aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans. Just as I switched off the roaster, the smoke detector in the next room went off.
After I reset the smoke alarm, we had a good laugh. It was decided that in the future we’d use the coffee roaster either outdoors or near an open window. I then brought out my coffee grinder and pulverized the freshly roasted beans. After a quick brew in the French press, we enjoyed coffee as fresh as it gets.
I never bothered to replace the coffee roaster after it finally wore out a few years later. I went back to buying pre-roasted coffee, in bean form and pre-ground. Truthfully, the Melitta roaster didn’t live up to my expectations. Anyway, it was fun, while it lasted.
I haven’t thought about that roasting appliance for several years. The old memory suddenly came to mind when I noticed that today is International Coffee Day. Today is a blatantly commercial event used to promote the sale and consumption of the world’s most popular beverage.
Coffee Day is celebrated today in 17 countries. It was commemorated yesterday in Switzerland. Meantime, the International Coffee Organization (yes, there is such a thing) will celebrate International Coffee Day on October 1st. A few other countries celebrate it on other days. China celebrates it in April; Denmark and Brazil in May; Columbia on June 27th; while Costa Rica, Ireland, Mongolia, and Germany celebrated earlier this month. Personally, I celebrate coffee day, every day.
Last month at the Goodwill Store, I stumbled upon a silver plated ibrik, or Turkish coffee pot. I polished and cleaned the small utensil and decided to use it. I checked out a few YouTube videos about the preparation of Turkish coffee. It’s easier to make than I thought.
I filled my ibrik with a cup of water. If I wanted sugar (I didn’t) it would be added to the cold water. I ground up some dark roasted beans to an extra-fine powder and set it aside.
The water was brought to a boil. I then added 1 tablespoon of the coffee powder and a pinch of ground cardamom directly to the hot water. I removed the ibrik from the heat after the mixture foamed. I stirred the mixture, then again, put the ibrik onto the heat to foam once more.
I then poured the coffee into two demitasse cups and shared the drink with my friend, Jorge. Turkish coffee is never served with milk or cream and must be served with the foam on top. It takes some getting used to, but there will be a residue of coffee grounds at the bottom of the cups. The grounds can be discarded later. For fun, you can have your fortune read from the shape of the settled grounds, if you share your coffee with a fortune teller.
Some gourmet coffee shops sell pre-ground Arabic coffee. If you don’t find it prepackaged, request that the shop grind whole beans for Turkish coffee. If you have a coffee grinder, you can grind it at home like I do. The coffee must be of powder consistency. At home, if you don’t own an ibrik, you can use a small, conventional pan to prepare your coffee, instead.
Whether or not you try out the Turkish coffee recipe, I hope you celebrate International Coffee Day today and again on October 1st.