The comfort of your own home

Today, I felt like I broke the proverbial champagne bottle against my apartment.

Well, "our" apartment, that is—you know, since I've got that husband guy hanging around here sometimes, too. And if we are being totally technical about the whole thing, it's really his apartment, since he's lived here for, what, 18 years now? When I moved in with my Truman Capote books, my various coffee paraphernalia and my constantly growing collection of homemade vintage dresses, I was understandably moving into his world. It's been almost two years (for us as a couple and, shockingly, for me at this locale—ask me the story of how I kind of accidentally had to move in with Brett three months after we started dating!), and over the past few weeks, we've really hunkered down and made some big changes on ol' West 22nd Street. It's home. Our home, both of us. Wow.

Living room panorama 2

So anyway. Today, in honor of feeling at home, comfortable, settled, domestic and on the verge of an exciting new job, I cupped some excellent coffees. Some might say the most excellent coffees, but I'll leave that to you, dear reader, when you cup them your own self. But yes, on the table today was (left to right) an Intelligentsia-roasted Panama Esmeralda and a Stumptown Ethiopia Misty Valley Indido.

Home cupping

Two absolutely beautiful crops, slurped in my now-completely-ideal domicile on what was an absolutely beautiful New York afternoon (my husband would take serious issue with my classifying today as beautiful; he doesn't really do summer)—doesn't get much better than that. Now, I've cupped at home before. But this somehow felt different. This felt like, "We're really gonna do this? Okay, cool." Maybe it was the magic of the Esmeralda? I mean, let's be frank: Nothing says "We're really gonna do this" like the world's arguably most coveted coffee. (I hope you'll excuse me if I leave my cupping notes out of this post; Esmeralda especially is probably a victim of its own descriptions, and I think a coffee this delicate is best encountered on its—and your—own terms.)

In any event, one of the reasons I really love cupping at home (and love cupping by myself, though it is such a dynamic, social and informative experience when done as part of a group) is that you can get lost in it. It's like cooking yourself a truly exceptional dinner and then eating it alone on the couch with some candles lit, not even tempted to continue reading that book you've been pawing at all afternoon, simply because what you're tasting is that good. There's no pressure to have this or that to say about the coffee; even though the process is no less formal and I do still go through the motions of taking notes, I am alone with my palate, these liquors and my powers of description; we're all getting to know each other better. It's almost too intimate an act. All this after having just talked about the house I've built with my husband—I guess I was making out with some coffee today. Whoops!

The perfect Sunday afternoon

When I was done with the cupping, writing down my feelings and thinking about my future in this industry, I looked around at my—sorry, our—living room. This is the house of a coffee nut and a collector of paper ephemera; I put on Judy Garland and he puts on Nat King Cole and the two of us sing along with both. I like a strong cup of Chemex-brewed Mexican Chiapas in the morning and he likes a nice short macchiato after dinner, and I have everything in the world to be thankful for.