Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Friday Food and Drink Post: Calling All Coffee Snobs prompted lively comments and cued a memory. It turns out that @she uses a moka pot, by Bialetti. This simple, rugged design serves up a strong cup of coffee with some froth on top. The action is similar to a percolator, but more vigorous, giving you a froth on top similar to expresso. The device was invented by an Italian in the 1930s and is mostly popular in Europe and Latin America.
Seeing a photograph of @she’s coffee maker reminded me of my first college roommate. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen who got out of Cuba with his parents via Spain. He was also overly ambitious about numbers of classes and activities, so he would get way behind, and suddenly try to buckle down and get assignments, papers, and study done.
You see, we were at the University of Chicago, where, at the time, they had to throw students out of the main library Saturday evening so we would have some social life. More precisely, we were being nudged to have a social life beyond the snack shop in the basement of the library, with everyone seeing if you were slacking or getting a quick snack before diving back into the carrels. So, the university and the student body were all on board for academic rigor and excellence, no slack cut.
We knew he was in scrabble mode when, late in the evening, he would fire up the hot plate with a coffee maker like in the photograph. He would then fill his cup a third of the way full of sugar, pour the first part of the brewed coffee over the sugar, and stir it into a latte colored slush. When the coffee maker finished frothing coffee up into the brewed coffee chamber, he’d pour the rest over the sugary slush and drink the concoction. He claimed this was coffee the Cuban way.
I could set my watch by him; fifteen minutes after he sucked down his caffeine-sugar fix, he would be sound asleep, head on his desk. You see, his brain had come to associate the evening coffee ritual with sleep, so that was what it did. Roommates learned to check and blow out any candle he might have lit, as he wasn’t going to wake for several hours. His spirit and coffee were strong, but the mental suggestion was stronger.
Have you seen similar seeming contradictions or instances of mind over body?Published in