There are two things in the world that can make me think about my father, the first and most important is a really well cooked meat product– and only to compare how much better my old man is at cooking then whoever made that creation. The second is coffee.
For some reason the two things that my mother never really got around to doing in our house where cooking and making coffee, and from the above statement you can kind of understand why she wouldn’t cook– I don’t know why she never makes coffee. Although anyone that has stayed the night at the family home knows that waking up in the morning is done when you hear my father starting the coffee grinder (although I normally go right back to sleep). If I was being lazy I would just go ahead and say that these are the two reasons that I never really made an attempt to learn to cook or make coffee, simply that my father does it so much better that everything I would do would probably be a resounding failure in comparison, but in truth by the time I was the age that I needed to learn to make coffee there was heavily caffeinated soda type drinks. I think the cooking part is just to annoy my wife at this point.
This does lead me to my favorite coffee related memory of my parents, when they bought a cappuccino machine. It started when my brother lived in the Seattle area and they flew out to spend some time with him. What they discovered was an entirely new ways to drink and enjoy the coffee bean. On one trip returning from college I noticed a massive machine in the kitchen, and for anyone else who has never seen a cappuccino maker before it looks like something that Dr. No would use to gather information out of British secret agents. At that time being more of a fan of main-lining my caffeine from Red Bull and chocolate covered espresso beans I decided the best course of action was to ignore the thing. When I returned a month later the device was gone and never discussed again. I have a theory behind this:
Making coffee involves three steps– adding the filter, grounds, and water– if you want to get fancy (as my father has) you can add a fourth and feel way more classy, and possibly need a monocle, by grinding your own beans. Cappuccino has roughly five times that amount, and many of those steps involve using steam. Steam, for those of you who don’t know, is created by raising water beyond 212 degrees– which is around the same temperature that human flesh also melts at. From what I gather steam is also not the easiest thing in the world to handle and very often likes to throw gracious amounts of the milk product it is doing magic to all over. Even skilled attendants at Star Bucks seem to make a mess with these things constantly, which means that every time my parents decided to waste half an hour setting the stupid thing up they also needed another fifteen minutes to clean it after.