These days, I seem to be on a musical nostalgia tour. A couple of weeks ago, it was The Dead. Then last night, my wife and I found ourselves in the crowd for They MIght Be Giants at Le Poisson Rouge, on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. The crowd of people in button-downed shirts and khaki was enthusiastic. But it did not have the same energy we recalled from the late 1990s, when the band could fill the Bowery Ballroom, and nerdy fans sat in circles in the line outside singing angst-ridden lyrics they knew by heart. That was long before the band transformed itself a Grammy-winning act for children known for TV and movie theme songs. Anyway, the last thing I did before leaving the apartment was to pull another shot of this coffee, from the Yerga Cheffe region of Ethiopia. It kept me bouncing. Name: Wondo Harfusa
Origin: Yerga Cheffe, Ethiopia.
Roasted: May 18 by Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz, Ca.
Purchased: May 25 at Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., Manhattan, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Description: One account: "begins with a hibiscus aroma followed by ripe red fruit flavors of raspberry, red currant and cherry finishing with notes of black tea."
I tend to be suspicious of "fruit flavors" in coffee descriptions, but these tend to be just traces. In most cases, the underlying flavor is coffee, a category unto itself. That said, I personally think fruit and flower notes can sometimes overpower a coffee, making for a tasting experience that is unpleasant. I can happily report that is not the case with Wondo Harfusa. You can definitely find the ripe cherry and raspberry under the coffee, but it works with the whole. More and more I find I enjoy tasting for these secondary flavors more than I ever expected when I started learning about culinary coffee. Before long, this will probably turn me into the worst sort of coffee snob.
But for now, I'm enjoying my third shot of espresso of the morning and early afternoon, having been up a little too late (after the opener by Mixel Pixel and the somewhat short TMBG set, we headed over to another place in the Village, Cafe Vivaldi, for some more music, and drinks). I thought about finding a way to segue back to the show, maybe with some coffee-related lyrics. Something about getting older, and holding onto the moment, and all that. (I didn't even mention the helicopters overhead and the motorcade tying up traffic. Barack and Michelle Obama were also having a date that started with dinner in the neighborhood.)
For now I'm content to just let the coffee do its job: Wake me up.