a few more days, and she’ll be gone

May 2, 2005 – 11:27 pm



late night of wonkish meetings. how one complies with fire codes on the side of a mountain while recouping one’s substantial developmental outlay in a secluded residential enclave for niche buyers, for example. a sack-out on the black vinyl, a quick read of the day’s leading national dailies, and then: karatina! how i’ve missed thee! decided to run through the remaining quarter-pound with a series of underdosed shots at varying temps.

flush, grind, pack, pull. a little blond in the stripes, and acrid to boot. flush longer, rinse, repeat. sour, she is. well, then. err at boths ends, and there’s nothing left but bullseye, eh? the grouphead was beginning to get into a rhythm, and i allowed it an additional cycle to recover from the flush. gave the tamp an extra polish. bingo. stripes wouldn’t stop. darkest crema i’ve seen in months (the five-day beans mighta had something to do with this). speckles like a tonsil on laryngitis. dee-lish, i say. very overt, assaulted me instantly. strong leather and clove overtones, with some honey lurking behind. i downed it.

one shot’s worth left in the grinder, and a hankering for a stout breve to boot. duplicated the process, pulled again. more volume this time (which i wanted) and a very sturdy crema. the speckled stuff waited patiently while i steamed, holding its shape like a stubborn cowlick. BUT: this one was transparent. no full frontal assault like the previous. was this a function of the well-acclimated tongue, or a stunning reversal of tactics on the part of sweet karatina? i couldn’t tell. this one was mystical in its initial softness, then its myriad hints of rose and cane sugar and leaf. (leaf?! did i just say leaf?!)

*sigh* it’ll never be automatic, i tell you. to which, upon further reflection, i say: amen! more mysterious karatina nuance for me, please. but alas, she’s about gone. the whole 20-pound bag. next up: 20 pounds of the new ethiopian yirgacheffe, and five each of the necessary brazil cerrado, ever-potent yemen ismaili and forboding sulawesi. i know, i know, the cost of an ipod mini for a bit of beaned sublimity.

but you know, songs come and go. after the third album, norah will begin to reach her limits. meanwhile the variations on a good karatina are, well, endless.