I’m Andy. And I love coffee.
Now don’t confuse that with meaning that I know a lot about coffee. I don’t. In fact, I still take mine with milk and sugar (if you’re savouring a Yirgacheffe pourover while reading this, I apologise for ruining your moment and I hope we can still be friends).
Here’s the thing: earlier this year I had a revelation. I was in Addis Ababa. And lost. There was no mobile signal. I couldn’t do what I normally do when I’m lost. Summon an Uber. There is also no Uber in Ethiopia (at the time of writing this anyway).
So I kept walking.
I could smell the coffee before I saw her little hole in the wall. She invited me in. Gestured that I sit down. And started the ceremony.
We didn’t speak a single word. She smiled. I smiled. It’s only when I tasted the coffee that I let slip an uncontrolled “Wow!” She laughed. She was already pouring before I could gesture for a second cup. No milk. No sugar.
By the time I finally looked up from my cup her little hole in the wall was filled with locals. Not a tourist in sight. Except me. So I decided to make room for more of her local customers, paid more than what she asked for, tried hard to express how much I loved her coffee, and left.
I continued to be lost for a good while thereafter. But at least I was happy.
That got me thinking. Maybe I didn’t understand coffee as well as I thought I did. Maybe I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. Maybe adding milk and sugar does to coffee what Kim Kardashian is doing to Kanye West. Maybe milk and sugar is the Yoko Ono of coffee.
So I decided to learn as much as I can about coffee. Actually, I’ve become obsessively curious about it. And that’s the reason for this blog. Unless I write things down it all goes in one ear and out the other. So every time I learn something new I’m going to make a note about it here.
I still take milk and sugar in my coffee. Kim and Kanye are still married. Let’s see which ends first.