The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Classic Style: Serve Fresh Coffee after Supper. . .

 Nothing beats a fresh, hot steaming cup of java.  All of the time according to my way of thinking.  Anytime.  Day, or night.

My maternal grandmother used to say that the best cup of coffee of the day was the one enjoyed just after the evening meal.  Wherever she is in the afterlife, I hope Granny realizes how right she was.  Yours truly is, in fact, enjoying a large mug of joe, made with a French press, as I write this post after supper.  At present, I am home alone for roughly two weeks while wife and child visit grandparents in the Pacific Northwest prior to our looming move to Michigan and subsequent summer travel plans to Germany.  We ought to have out heads examined where the latter is concerned given the timing of everything, but I digress.

The only thing nicer than a cup of coffee following supper in the evening is a cup or two of after-dinner coffee enjoyed with family, or guests when you have them.  Sadly, this custom seems to be something not enough people remain aware of in 2015, at least in my recent experience.  

This was not always the case of course.  From about the time I was 14, I enjoyed a cup of coffee in the morning early before school and again after supper around the dining table with my mother and grandmother.  During the summer months, we often took our coffee to the front porch, or to the glass-topped table in the terraced side-yard.  Here, we chatted and laughed about the events of the day surrounded by big old, blousy Boxwood shrubs on three sides of the yard plus a mature Crab Apple tree, a very tall Tulip Poplar, and a rather large Styrax tree with the meadow up the hill beyond.  All three trees bloomed at one time or another during the second half of May and early June, and the side-yard in late Spring was a feast for the eyes as you might imagine. 

But back to coffee.  I have continued to enjoy the dark mistress at key points during the day and evening throughout my adult life.  However, Italian and Scandinavian friends notwithstanding, coffee after dinner in the evening seems to be something of a lost art for many with whom I am currently acquainted. . .  along with dinner napkins as part of the table setting now that I think about it.  How sad that something nice has fallen by the wayside as society has become evermore caught up in itself, and figuratively at least, runs from one activity to the next at such a rate that small, pleasant things like a cup of fresh coffee after a meal have (apparently) disappeared from the daily radar screens of so many.

My humble suggestion is for average guys, who are interested in kicking up their everyday style more than just a few notches, to reintroduce the elegant custom of after-dinner coffee into their own lives, assuming it is not already a part of the evening ritual.  Whether you take milk, cream, and/or sugar in yours -- or you drink it black as I do -- finish the evening meal with a fresh cup or two of coffee and reflect on, or converse quietly about the day just ended.  And the evening yet to come.  When you have guests, make sure to have a bag or can of decaffeinated coffee on hand, plus an extra coffee pot of some kind, so that you can make and offer coffee to those who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the old-fashioned leaded variety of the java bug.  Rest assured, there will be at least one among your companions who appreciates it.

Coffee after supper strikes me as a highly civilized and sophisticated way to finish a meal, a point on which I hope you might agree with me.  Make it part of your evening routine whether you live alone, with others, or you have a house full of dinner guests.  It is a delightfully convivial way to wrap up the meal and start off the rest of your evening.  Try it and see.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


P.S.

Sunday morning.  11:10am.  Fresh black coffee, toast with Red Currant jelly [thank you for pointing out the correct spelling, Old School], a reprise of John Coltrane's 1958 album Blue Train, and the Sunday New York Times.  It doesn't get much better.

2 comments:

OldSchool said...

I have found that a French press produces the indisputably best cup of coffee.

I have found that a French press produces the indisputably best cup of coffee.

With your kind permission, re: currant vs. current:

http://kaplaninternational.com/blog/english-homophones-current-vs-currant/


OldSchool said...

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/tuesday-with-zinsser