Well back to the subject of coffee. Whilst visiting that strange, overcrowded, but none the less exciting place called London, I was coerced into visiting a chap called Mal. He is a fellow antipodean*. The goal of the visit was to encourage* him to bring a team of people from his Vineyard to ours.
So after what felt like only five minutes after exiting the plane I found myself on the bus heading to some no-name* London suburb. Well when I got off the bus I was delighted to be swallowed up in a melting pot of nationalities, races, religions and colours. It took approximately two seconds for me to be on sensory overload.* I mean I live in a nation that suffers from the effects of being almost entirely white. So by the time I met Mal I was in total culture shock* and just wanting to dig a hole and bury myself.*
But for the moment Mal saved the day. He looked totally and unashamedly* like a Kiwi*. But then things went downhill quickly. Rule no.1 when someone is in culture shock, never force them to make a decision*. Did I want to walk around the village or did I want to go back to his flat? Or worse still he took me to Greggs Bakery* Anyhow with food, flowers for the wife, umm Mal’s wife, umm paid for by Mal. We were soon in the safety of his car* on the way to his flat.
I learned pretty quickly that this guy came from what appears to be a good church*, that he is into worship music*, well really all cool and good music and is a coffee freak. Too many choices, too many subjects to talk about. By this stage I had a huge cappuccino in my hand. I have said that it is dangerous to mix the Holy Spirit and coffee together*. And if you catch me in culture shock without a copy of 24, well I will talk your ear off. So with culture shock, caffeine and the Holy Spirit* my wee tongue was traveling so fast it was singeing the inside of my mouth whilst smoke was emitting from my ears.
Well the short* of the story is, Mal roasts coffee. His company is called London Coffee Roasters. He took me down to his little “Paradise Pad”* where he roasts his coffee. And there in this almost heavenly bliss environment we roasted coffee.* One bag of beans for my brother-in-law and two for me. Now because of being in a strange, sorry different environment*, I never really got to appreciate these beans until I got home.
If there is one thing that I understand, that is that I do not really understand the process of roasting coffee. This coffee actually turned out to be the best tasting coffee that I can actually ever remember drinking*. And I do not know why! I do not know what secrets Mal had in his roasting that made his beans outstandingly superior to any other coffee that I have drunk in the UK or beyond. I now long to get home home* to test this theory. Bizarrely enough New Zealand has a reputation for good coffee.
Another quirky thing Mal reckons that coffee is at its peak from the point of roasting until just three weeks later. And he was right there was a definite cut off point from where the coffee went from being excellent to just plain old very darn good.
So can I suggest that you check out this guy’s website. If you live in the UK buy some and try it. And if you live outside the UK buy some and try it. It won’t let you down.
So what have you learned? Coffee, Holy Spirit and culture shock are dangerous, buy your coffee from Mal and probably some other stuff you didn’t want to learn and that I don’t need to hear about. Cheers 🙂
*Antipodean is the English word for white Kiwi, Aussie or South African. Personally I find it a little offensive but when the English use the word they are being affectionate.
*Encourage in this case means do what ever it takes.
*No-name means I have forgotten the name.
*Sensory Overload. Good cheese can do it quicker.
*Cultural Shock. -…to let go is to fall naked into the snow…©Kel Fowler
*Dig a Hole and Bury Myself. It is a coping mechanism almost as effective as watching a few hours of 24.
*Unashamedly like a Kiwi. Unlike me or John Kirwan.
*Kiwi. Someone from New Zealand’s South Island who drinks Speights. 🙂
*Decision. For example, “do you want sugar in your coffee?”.
*Greggs Bakery. A place that all good Scots confuse with heaven. But at this moment my personal hell.
*Safety of his car. When you are being driven someone else is making your decisions for you.
*Church. An interesting place to meet God.
*Worship Music. A great language to talk to God with.
*Dangerous to mix the Holy Spirit and coffee together. However it is great for creative expressions.
*Holy Spirit. A pretty cool dude.
*Short. I am gearing up for my second coffee and am tempted to tell you the long of the story.
*Paradise Pad. Could have only been better if it also housed good French red wine, good cheese and had Oscar Peterson playing live.
*We Roasted Coffee, Means Mal roasted coffee and I talked like an excited sixteen year old looking at his first 1972 GTHO,(it was my dream car, then I hit seventeen).
*Strange Environment. London.
*Remember Drinking. And I can remember drinking a lot of coffee.
*Home Home as opposed to my other home where I live now. It gets confusing.
Wish coffee agreeded with me. I love to smell it, but can’t drink it. On the other hand, a good bakery agrees with me just fine! Wish I could visit your hell!
Kel, you’re a version of me! Writing up about your trips, drinking coffee, meeting interesting sorts of folks, dealing with culture shock in a Western context. I started roasting my own coffee this past year using a cast iron pan and green beans that are grown just a few hours south. I’m telling you! You won’t go back to just ordinary stuff after that. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever have to leave a place where I can buy green, local beans. Enjoyed this post! Wish I was with you. I still remember your visit to AZ and a certain travel mug/press you carried around with you that you had ‘altered’ for more successful travels. Ironically, I met a coffee-roasting guy in Oregon who got me hooked on coffee (because I fell in love with the process, the art of it all). I didn’t drink coffee before meeting Cory (now owner of several coffee shops in Portland and still roasting his own coffee I hear).