• a coffee scene

    From August Abolins@2:221/1.58 to All on Monday, January 09, 2023 11:52:00
    A few short paragraphs from "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor
    Towles. Plenty of references to coffee in the novel, but this
    one seemed to describe an interesting ritual of the whole
    process of preparing and waiting for it to brew.


    "Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov stirred at half past eight to
    the sound of rain on the eaves. With a half-opened eye, he
    pulled back his covers and climbed from bed. He donned his robe
    and slipped on his slippers. He took up the tin from the
    bureau, spooned a spoonful of beans into the Apparatus, and
    began to crank the crank.

    "Even as he turned the little handle round and round, the room
    remained under the tenuous authority of sleep. As yet
    unchallenged, somnolence continued to cast its shadow over
    sights and sensations, over forms and formulations, over what
    has been said and what must be done, lending each the
    insubstantiality of its domain. But when the Count opened the
    small wooden drawer of the grinder, the world and all it
    contained were transformed by that envy of the alchemists-the
    aroma of freshly ground coffee.

    "In that instant, darkness was separated from light, the waters
    from the lands, and the heavens from the earth. The trees bore
    fruit and the woods rustled with the movement of birds and
    beasts and all manner of creeping things. While closer at hand,
    a patient pigeon scuffed its feet on the flashing.

    "Easing the little drawer from the Apparatus, the Count poured
    its contents into the pot (which he had mindfully primed with
    water the night before). He lit the burner and shook out the
    match. As he waited for the coffee to brew, he did thirty
    squats and thirty stretches and took thirty deep breaths. From
    the little cupboard in the corner, he took a small pitcher of
    cream, a pair of English biscuits, and a piece of fruit (today
    an apple). Then having poured the coffee, he began to enjoy the
    morning's sensations to their fullest:

    "The crisp tartness of the apple˙.˙.˙.

    "The hot bitterness of the coffee˙.˙.˙.

    "The savory sweetness of the biscuit with its hint of spoiled butter˙.˙.˙.

    "So perfect was the combination that upon finishing, the Count
    was tempted to crank the crank, quarter the apple, dole out the
    biscuits, and enjoy his breakfast all over again.

    "But time and tide wait for no man. So, having poured the
    remnants of the coffee from its pot, the Count brushed the
    biscuit crumbs from his plate onto the window ledge for his
    feathered friend. Then he emptied the little pitcher of cream
    into a saucer and turned toward the door with the intention of
    placing it in the hall-and that was when he saw the envelope on
    the floor.


    --- OpenXP 5.0.51
    * Origin: Mobile? COFFEE_KLATSCH = https://tinyurl.com/y56r9f2o (2:221/1.58)