Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Everybody Wants To Be In A Book...
I hope you won't mind if I indulge myself a little.
Back from Mexico City, I'm once again behind the bar at The Spro for a couple of weeks. Back to find a nice bag of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Hines Coffee in the queue with it's heavy blueberry character calling my name, begging me to brew a cup or four. I can't resist.
And yes, you're eyes are not deceiving you - there is some amount of half and half cream in that cup (from Trickling Springs, no less) and a half teaspoon of sugar (cane, pure).
As I'm preparing my coffee, in comes the UPS guy with a small package from Ten Speed Press in tow. Hmm, I don't remember ordering any books before my trip to Mexico. Then it hits me: this must be an advance copy of the book I shared a recipe with. I tear into the package with reckless abandon.
I once wrote somewhere on the Internet: "Everybody wants to be in a book. Until they're actually written about. And it's true. It's fun being the subject of an article or included in a book. But you never know what they're going to write about you until it's too late. God forbid they might write an accurate portrayal of you for the world to see - and you're an asshole.
That would be bad.
Luckily, my write up in Michael Turback's Coffee Drinks isn't that bad. It reads:
"I like the ideas of using memories to trigger positive responses," explains Jay. His signature drink, in a mad-scientist-tinkering-in-his-lab way, invokes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of our youth. A rediscovery of the American childhood experience is magically captured for the adult palate in a deconstructed formula, presented in three acts: a shot of espresso stirred with hazelnut butter and a side of grape gelee, all washed down with cold, frothed milk."
Not too bad. Although one of my staff facetiously remarked that hazelnut butter is something that "everyone" has at home.
Every victory has to have detractors.
So please run out to your local bookstore and buy a copy of "Coffee Drinks." It's a great book filled with recipes from many of the baristas I respect. Baristas like Chris Deferio, Lem Butler, Steve Fritzen, Dismas Smith and the incomparable Jon Lewis. Ask for it. Demand it. Stand in line for it. It's only fifteen bucks (ten at Amazon.com).
Just a note: we don't make any money off the sale of the book. I'd just like to see the word of coffee spread throughout the kingdom.
by Michael Turback
photography by Leo Gong
2008 Ten Speed Press
Hardcover, 104 pages