I like to think of the collaborative team at We Do Chew Our Food as a hand picked League of Food Justice, doling out the good (and sometimes, the bad) word about the world of food for the benefit of all the regular people out there. And, like the League of Justice, AKA "SuperFriends", each member had their own merits which bring the powers of the team as a whole to fullness. In time you'll get to know us all, as we'll get to know each other. After the first couple of times we save the world by the timely reviewing of the foods you'll come to feel safer just knowing we're here.
We actually live here. Sweet eh?
"Super" wise, I bring my own warm yet powerful brand of domesticity to the team. While the others are out doing the fancy stuff I'll be shaking the panatone crumbs out of the Hall of Justice toaster and grating a fine layer of Parmigiano Reggiano onto a tray of hot polenta.
But no type-A individual is that "up an at 'em" all the time. No, like you, we supers put our tights on one leg at a time. And when we wake up in the morning are our faces not all puffy and scowly, and does not our breath smell a little stale? So the first thing I like to do of a morning before the rest of the League wakes up is put on a pot of coffee.
Without being a dull purist, I'm quite particular about my coffee. If you're unfamiliar with the workings of the stove top coffee pot, it does its thing by forcing boiling water at pressure through ground coffee and into a separate chamber. Reportedly, they can explode though thankfully I've never seen it happen first hand. If you're keen on some nice coffee at home on the old stove top (not technically an espresso but the closest thing you'll manage without buying a $1000+ machine) try Illy's sensational Caffe Macinato 250g can at home. It's vacuum sealed and will make a nice pssssst sound when you open it the first time. It's kind of pricey at $16.95 for 250g (that's about double what I pay for freshly ground beans at my local coffee shop) but it will look sexy on the kitchen counter so it all balances out right?
Having a coffee away from home should always be an indulgent and smug Fitzroyesque moment, whether you're slumming in Brunswick or being a hot young architect lounging in the window at Mario's. There's not a bad coffee worth drinking when there's so much good coffee about, so here's a handy rating system which can help you work out whether to tip your barista or simply run screaming.
********** Excellent coffee in your favourite café. The barista has written your name with love hearts around it in the froth. Served by an extremely attractive and attentive waiter or waitress who gives you a wink and all but fondles you when handing you your change. (sidenote: see Hospitality Crushes.) You order a second cup just for the hell of it.
********* Still a class "A" coffee, but (distracted by the hospitality crush?) you accidentally stir in a teaspoon more sugar than you intended. Not wanting it to go to waste you drink it down anyway but it leaves you with an unpleasant road rage edge to your coffee buzz.
******** Still an excellent coffee, and served by the same hot wait-person, but in a slightly strange glass which you're not that comfortable holding.
******* There's some grounds which escaped the filter and you swigged them down with the last sip. Now they're floating around your mouth and getting stuck between your teeth.
****** Coffee made by your mother is always on the bitter side or 'bittersweet'.
***** Coffee made by a trainee barista who over-steams the milk, essentially filling it with water. You try to go back when the other barista is on but they've swapped their shifts around and now the trainee is there on all the days when you usually go.
**** The foam is like fine bubbles rather than a creamy silky foam. Too much separation between the foam and the liquid, usually caused by inexpert foaming of the milk. In Queensland and Western Australia they seem to make a point of this separation and serve lattes in tall Irish coffee glasses to make the layers more prominent.
*** Coffee from a fast food restaurant such as McDonalds. American's favour drip filter coffee which is a far cry from what we've come to expect from our Italian inspired coffee culture.
** Coffee from almost any beachside resort in any tropical area in any country in the world.
* You are travelling in the country and stop into what appears to be a nice café. It looks cheery enough and there's plenty of people chatting happily and drinking coffee which from all appearances is coffee as it should be and eating generous slices of a nutty country cake. You order coffee from an eager to please young waitress and sit back with a copy of Women's Weekly c.1998. Coffee arrives and one sip tells you something is very, very wrong. Later investigation proves that the café uses a rainwater tank in which a large possum had drowned months previous. The locals had acclimatised slowly to the change in flavour.
Before you ask, no the last thing never happened to me. Though my mother did find a very bloated dead possum in a rainwater tank when she lived in the country as a little girl and they had all been drinking the water.
Rightio. Time to pop on a second pot for the League.