Happy International Coffee Day!
If you’re looking for an excuse to get caffeinated and stay caffeinated, this is your day.
America has long had a love affair with coffee, and not just in its unofficial capital city of Seattle. Of course, it’s particularly popular in regions that experience the four seasons, but Starbucks shops are ubiquitous from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine, and from San Diego to South Beach.
And in recent years, the language of coffee has begun to intersect with the language of wine. One of the wine label words now commonly found on packages of coffee, for instance, is “Reserve.”
In neither case does the word have a “legal” or highly specific meaning, but the inference is that the product inside — be it wine, beans or grounds — is somehow superior to other products not carrying the designation.
Here’s what we found on one bag of Starbucks “Reserve” coffee when the trend began:
“For the first time, we have the opportunity to bring you an offering from Panama’s acclaimed Carmen Estate — a family-owned business that produces some of the world’s best specialty coffees. For three generations, the Franceschi family has taken great pride in selectively picking only the ripest, bright red coffee cherries at their absolute peak of flavor.
“The coffee is nurtured and milled in the Volcan Valley. This mountainous micro-region, on the narrow isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, offers rich, loamy volcanic soil. Cool, frost-free nights give way to dry, sun-drenched days, creating ideal conditions for growing the quintessential Panamanian coffee: a bright, lemony acidity in the cup with a nutty sweetness.”
I remember thinking, “Hmm, that sounds quite a bit like the Tasting Notes we write for Vinesse wines.”
The truth, of course, is that there is a wide range of quality when it comes to coffee, just as there is a wide range among wines.
If you love good coffee as much as you love good wine, this is your day. Drink just enough of your favorite brew(s) so you’re wide awake to open a bottle of wine from Vinesse this evening. Then raise a glass to International Coffee Day.