Today I drank the sort of coffee that caused me to go find the specialty chocolate tucked away in the bottom right hand drawer of the desk in my bedroom.
I opened the packaging of the chocolate, took out one square and carefully placed it onto my tongue. Then I took a sip of my freshly-brewed coffee. I let the warm, aromatic coffee flow over the chocolate, causing it to quickly start melting. The burst of flavor was immediate, maybe a bit intense, so I moved the chocolate into the side of my cheek as it continued to melt.
The way the flavor of coffee infuses with chocolate is an experience. A harmony of tastes, bitter fruits, roasted beans, sweet results.
I closed my eyes to be present in the moment. I took in a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. As I did that, I had a thought.
I realized that in all of the world, and of all the eight billion people that live on it, (and that’s not even counting all the people who have ever lived before this), I’m the only human being who has ever paired this chocolate — a square of Schwarzwalder Kirsh, picked up in Frieberg, Germany by my friend Dennis — with these Ethiopian beans, coincidentally also purchased by him, but from a coffee shop in Wheaton, Illinois. The beans, which have been roasted using an anaerobic fermentation process developed by a roaster named Halo Berti, fill a room with aromas of lightly roasted coffee when even the canister of beans is opened. The beans have an intensity to them, they smell juicy, like that of blueberries or blackberries, especially as I methodically pour the hot water over them seconds after I’ve ground them up.
But that thought: that I am the only person in a big world trying a combination of taste never tried before and likely to ever be replicated only by me (and that’s only if I convince myself to eat another chocolate), helped overcome the loneliness I was feeling earlier this morning.
Last evening was a tough night in the home. I experienced some really rotten behaviors from a couple of our girls. And I thought to myself in the midst of this morning’s hangover from it all, how will we ever move on from last night?
I’m not sure. But I do know that the combination of specialty chocolate with specialty coffee is a wonderfully robust experience, mixing both the sweet and bitter, which enhance both. It was enough to bring up my spirits a bit and give me some resolve in the quiet of this present moment.
These are (still) the good ol’ days, even the hard days. Soak it up.