Friday, February 03, 2006

An Open Letter to Tom Oster

Dear Tom,
I've been thinking about you lately. Actually, it would be more accurate to say, "I've been thinking about your early-ly." When Aidan gets up at 5am, Kellsey and I start the day, too. It's been this way since he was born, and I wouldn't be able to keep this up except for drugs. My drug of choice: caffeine.

I have imbibed all kinds of caffeine-delivery-systems in the last 15 months: coke, hot tea, cold tea, sweet tea, latte, cappuccino, misto, frappuccino, mocha, macchiato, espresso, americano, drip coffee, and french press coffee. I drink it all: from the generic coffee served on an airplane, to the fresh-ground fresh-made drip at work, to fresh-ground french press at home, to Sbux espresso.

From the sheer volume, I discover that I can now tell the difference between coffees. I understand now that they actually taste different, depending upon the roast, or brewing process, or freshness of the bean. I've also moved from drinking Caramel Macchiatos through all the intermediate steps to drinking double espressos with one sugar. I'm thinking this is only one step away from drinking the essence of coffee: plain espresso.

If I had my preferences, I'd only drink fresh ground, french press coffee, or espresso. I'm not snotty about it: I drink it all, since it is fundamentally about the drug. But, when I can, I bring my own coffee, grinder, and press.

As I've been thinking about you, I recall some of our conversations about your coffee drinking. In particular we talked about it at a team meeting during my intern year at Brad's parent's place in Wintergreen. In my mind's eye, I can see us looking out over the valley, you with a steaming cup of coffee in your hand, and me holding forth on the unhealthy nature of coffee and caffeine. You also came in for some good-natured teasing about bringing your own grinder and fresh bags of coffee to team meetings.

As I prepare and drink my own coffee now, I often have this thought, "Oh my, I have become Tom Oster." Then I grin and drink deep of the coffee ambrosia. Unfortunately, none of the other admirable Tom Oster traits have taken hold.

I thought you'd like to know.


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