The time when we used to get up, grab our morning newspaper, and brew up a wonderful cup of coffee, has started to get past most of us. Unless you're a morning person who can get out of bed hours before anyone else and somehow start the day without the typical morning rush then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. If anything, people are usually running around the house, getting the kids ready, getting themselves ready, and running out the door.
Some days they manage to squeeze some time into the morning routine to roll through a drive-thru coffee stand or even worse, a fast-food restaurant, to pick up a cup of java. Or they can wait to get to the office where they brew up the cheapest stuff that their employer can get, as you load it down with cream and sugar. How can this be? How does what's supposed to be one of the most relaxing and satisfying routines of the day become part of the rat race.
As you probably know, coffee is the second most important commodity in the United States. Obviously, if you turn on your TV to watch the news you'll know what is first. But the coffee industry is big business, what you get at the fast-food restaurant or at the office doesn't even touch on the quality that is out there. It's funny how anything that doesn't come out of the can is considered gourmet coffee. Gourmet coffee is not something that you can't buy at the grocery store; the most expensive stuff there doesn't even begin to touch on the quality that is available.
Coffee roasting has become an art form. In a day when big companies use computers to do the dirty work, small specialty companies are still doing it the old-fashioned way with their experience and their brains. Roast-masters spend years honing their craft, and their experience is what makes for a great cup of coffee. These companies rely on freshness and quality to compete with the big boys who stock the grocery store shelves or ship it out to your local drive-thru. You won't see any of their commercials on TV, even real late at night when there is the cheapest air-time.
These specialty companies are successful simply based on their reputation. They work to get the highest grade beans from all over the world. They test everything to make sure the quality is as good as it gets. And then they baby it. Gourmet coffee is usually roasted in small batches to guarantee that nothing can go wrong. The time and temperature is completely under their complete control, and experience tells them when the beans are roasted perfectly. Any imperfections and the beans are tossed out and a new batch begins. They can do anything with coffee. They can create the perfect blends, add the best flavors, and guarantee that you will get the best cup of coffee that you have ever tasted. They rely on word of mouth, reviews, and tasting competitions to get their name out there. In most situations, the only way to place an order with them is through the internet. Gourmet Coffee sites are everywhere on the web, but it is often hard to determine where is the best place to go. And believe or not, most of their coffee costs no more that what you pay for a bag of beans at the supermarket that have been sitting around for a couple of months. But the best part about it is that you can have all of this in the comfort of your own home. This may give you the little extra that you need to get out of bed in the morning.
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