Hazelnut decaf

I am a coffee snob. Period. I drink from a French press every morning, strong and thick coffee that makes my husband, even with his gut of steel, cringe a little. “It’s bitter,” he says.

“It’s delicious,” I say. “If you don’t like it, make your own.”

I like my coffee to pour a little like molasses. Rich and creamy. Seth says you could stand a spoon up in the coffee I like to make and, well, he’s probably right. He, on the other hand, will drink gas station coffee that has been sitting in a Bunn coffee machine for hours. He really doesn’t care. It all tastes the same to him. Somehow, we’re still married.

I only drink coffee from a few places in Missoula and have been known to walk out if there was a new, questionable barista pulling shots. I nearly had to enter a period of mourning when my favorite barista at my favorite place in town left to do something else. Something, probably, amazing but, still, I was crushed. And a little lost for a while.

Thank God there was another option.

A few years ago, two dads I know started a coffee roasting business in Missoula. Up until then, it seems, we didn’t have one in town. In an interview I read, one of them said he looked forward to mornings because he could have a cup of coffee, fresh and new. We were the same kind of people, he and I. So after my favorite barista left me, I switched my allegiance to his shop and I haven’t been disappointed.

If I have a hip, cool side (which is up for debate) it shines in my coffee snobbery. But there is another side of me that is threatening to emerge more and more these days. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. Hazelnut decaf.

Really, there are no words quite like these that can describe so perfectly what I’m talking about. I’ll let you conjure up what you will reading those words. Roll them around in your head and sit with them for a minute. I know, it’s what I think too. Who in the world would drink that? Well, me, evidently.

Even with my coffee resume painting a much darker, more-full bodied picture, I have to admit that I like hazelnut decaf. I’m not even sure how it made its way into our house but it has and now I’m not sure if I can get it to leave. On the surface, I know that flavored coffee has no soul but lately I’ve been putting of dash of it in my French press in the mornings, decaf and all. I think it speaks to the part of me that slyly looks for reading glasses at the drugstore, the part of me that is a little more interested in a comfortable chair. Frankly, it scares the hell of me but that hasn’t stopped me from a little nip here and there.

If I’ve ever had an edge, it feels as though hazelnut decaf softens it to the point that it might as well have never been there. But, still. I’m all blind and blurry while driving at night and some cheap +1.5 readers might just help and there’s nothing wrong with an overstuffed chair, right?

Hazelnut decaf may be here to stay but it hasn’t taken the place of the stout espresso I love so much. If it ever does, then you can find me with my prescription lenses, cup of decaf in hand, on a Pottery Barn couch somewhere. Let’s just hope it never comes to that.