After eating hot dogs in the sunshine, Jeremy and I meandered over to Comet Coffee (located in the Nickels Arcade, for any Ann Arborites who should be hanging their heads in shame for not knowing that). I'd written about my love of -- a.k.a.: desperate need for! -- coffee for AnnArbor.com recently, and two different readers had urged me to go to Comet:
"Mary - you ought to go Comet, and try their La Esmeralda coffee prepared via the pour-over method, it is exquisite!!!!"
"Have you tried the Cocoa Latte from Comet Coffee? They use Calder Dairy Chocolate milk, super yummy!!"
Well, when God tries to point you in a certain direction, you oughta listen. (Yeah, I'm not too good at that ... I'm a tad stubborn, and a bit of a control freak since I have no control in any area of my life and therefore try to wrest it wherever I can.) But when God repeats the message, well ... Thou shalt get thy tuckus over there!
Comet Coffee has long been on my "to do" list; however, said "to do" list is exceedingly long, and money can sometimes be less than plentiful, and so some items get pushed further and further down.
But Saturday was the day! We meandered into the bright, open shop and found 3 people behind the counter -- one working the register, one prepping, the other artfully handling barista duties and 4 pour-overs at once. We were greeted immediately and with exceptional friendliness as we reviewed the short menu: coffee, tea, vac, French press, the afore-mentioned pour-over ... truly, the most essential basics.
Having come in with 2 recommendations, my poor little frazzled brain was spared having to pick beans and method and iced vs. hot. We ordered 2 cool drinks -- La Esmeralda and the chocolate latte -- and sat to wait as they were prepared just for us rather than merely being poured out of a carafe that had been sitting around for awhile. Admittedly, I'm not enough of a snob to turn down that other stuff (though I refuse to drink instant or freeze-dried!), but I do appreciate the beauty of coffees that would bear Jeremy's and my names exclusively.
The latte was ready first, and was so rich that it looked like chocolate milk. It was creamy ... it was decadent ... it was really, really, really good!!! Jeremy and I split it, though I got perhaps 2/3 to his 1/3. But that was remedied by his drinking most of the iced La Esmeralda, which was probably the most perfect coffee we've ever had ... and we've plowed through a lot of it, brewed in many different fashions.
Jeremy likened the coffee to Guinness (we won't discuss the fact that he's ... ahem ... 19). The depth of flavor, the depth of color -- I had to move the glass closer to the window so that at least a few rays of light could shine through it for this photo. It was extraordinarily smooth without even a hint of bitterness -- and I can detect bitterness quite readily, even in sweet things like Newman-Os (which can have all the organic ingredients they want, but if they taste bad they're worthless. I do really like the ginger ones, though ...).
But I'm meandering through the flow chart that is my brain again ....
I added a bit of Turbinado sugar and some half-and-half to my share of the La Esmeralda (don't judge me!!!), and enjoyed it very much just that way -- the qualities of the coffee were only enhanced, I'd say, rather than sullied by the sweetness and creaminess. Jeremy, however, drank his straight; and he declared it to be the very best coffee he'd ever had, period. Ah, make that an exclamation point!
(With thanks to Irving Berlin for sharing all of his gifts, but -- at the moment, anyway -- especially for the song I purloined for the title of this post ...)