Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Graham's Very Specific Instructions for Cowboy Coffee

On the morning of a rest day at Point Leo on the Pacific coast of Chichagof Island, Graham made us all some cowboy coffee, and in his beneficience, passed on the method in excruciating detail.

Graham: Start with cool fresh water from a mountain stream.

Janna: With a little bit of cedar poisoning.

Graham: Bring the water to a boil. I can't say how much because that's the art of cowboy coffee. Whatever makes your heart feel that it's enough. About a liter.

And then what you do is cup the grounds in your hand. About as much as will stay in your hand without a battle. If you have small hands you might have to add more. Spread it into the water with one cast like sowing seeds. Sow the land like Jesus. You have to think that way while you're doing it. It's as much about love and attention as anything else.

Bring it to a boil again. And this is really serious. It cannot boil over. If you boil it over it's all done but the crying. It means you're not paying attention. Like you left a baby alone and it got into something it shouldn't have. Tend it gently.

There's a froth layer that will develop on the top and you have to let that become part of it. Move it [the pot] counter-clockwise, or clockwise in Australia, so the boil hits the outside of the pan in a counter-clockwise motion.

Janna: Can we call it the coffee carioles? Is that what we're creating? Can we call it the coffee carioles vortex method?

Graham: And then, once that's all done, back it right off, once you feel it's had enough chance, about 300 heartbeats, calm heartbeats, pre-coffee-drinking heartbeats. About 60 beats a minute we're talking. That's why you should make enough for everyone the first time around, because it will throw the heartbeat measurements off.

Set it on something flat. Pour a quarter of a coffee cup of cold water in a counter-clockwise spiral (clockwise in Australia) from outside to in. Let it settle. Tap the side of it gently to settle the beast. Not enough to stir it up. Then it's ready.

Someone: Are you going to have some Graham?

Graham: Me? No. I don't drink coffee. It's about the making.


At August 17, 2006 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Graham Guy sound absolutely brilliant, a kind of messiah of sorts. Does he really speak in such poetry, or is this a figment of someone's imagination. If he were good looking as well as smart he would be the perfect man.



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