It’s drizzling outside, you don’t have just a long day ahead, rather a long week. Because, oh snap, it’s Monday. And you have to drag yourself out of your warm covers and plunge into the wild, viscous world out side. Drench yourself in the cold knocking on your windows. But the very though of it all sends you shivering deeper into the covers and as you close your eyes against the horrors awaiting you, you send out a little prayer. A hopeless wish to help you survive it all, to give you the incentive to get out of bed and face the nightmares.
And then it hits you. The answer to your prayers. The perfect mix of “rev-you-up for world domination” and incomparable paradise-for-your-taste-buds taste. Your personal Monday-pick-me-up.
They say you need time to acquire the taste for this coffee, that and guts.
You only need a well prepared cup of this mysterious drink, the rest would be taken care of by it’s own irresistible aromas and the rich flavor of freshly ground coffee shining as it’s brightest star. If it’s not done just rightly, if the aroma or the taste or even the color fails to rise above a minimum effective level to bombard your reward/happy-making centers, then, duh you won’t be able to gulp it down.
No matter how big a coffee-holic you are.
Why do I say this? Experience.
I was a born coffee lover, yet no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t develop a “taste” for black coffee (not even the long black) till I realized I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The coffee was. And it was doing all sorts of wrongs. How? By falling short in one or more of the areas mentioned above.
In short, I was buying second class black coffee. And trying to fall for it. Until I stopped trying, and then God led me to not just the love I craved but the reason why I couldn’t get it, in the form of the most perfect cup of black coffee I had ever had. I came across it by forced chance, sheer circumstantial lack of choice, which had me ending up at one of my favorite cafés in Lahore. And, somehow, the friend I was with persuaded me to give their black a shot (pun not intended). Timidly, reluctantly, I gave in to her and giving up my black-coffee boycott, I ordered a cup.
And never did I regret that decision. From the time since I first glimpsed the rich, deep, utter blackness of it, smelled it’s mind numbingly amazing aroma, tasted it’s tongue tingling bitterness, I remained a fan of CTC black coffee for a long time.
Until I got up the courage and tried a couple of other places whose black coffees were even more unforgettable (especially now when CTC’s is no more that good). And which proved that black coffee needs only to be made with enough love to make it easy for one to love.
Which places were those? Here is a list of my favorite cafés for black coffee.
1. Stumptown cafe, New York.
2. Mocca, Gulberg, Lahore.
3.At the risk of sounding highly cliched-Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
4. Ninth street espresso, New York.
5. Greyhound Cafe, West Lafayette, Indiana.
6. Butler’s chocolate cafe.
There are other cafés too, whose black coffees are fat better than just good, but if you want to get acquainted to the taste of them or just like getting the best of the best-then it doesn’t get better than this. Of course, Gloria Jean’s (especially the Islamabad outlet) gets an honorary mention. But I wouldn’t call them black coffee experts, even though they offer the best in some other areas of the coffee “dynasty”.😉
And, to be honest, all this coffee talk has made me crave another cup myself. So, as I quickly wind this up to rush to the kitchen and treat myself with one, let me just leave you on the warning-black coffee isn’t just addictive, it can wind up becoming the centre of your universe.
Just kidding. Not really. 😜
Until next time,