Grinding Coffee is Never a Grind

After years of collecting all the kitchen gadgets and labour-saving devices you could care to mention, I'm still prize my coffee grinder above all else. I drink gallons of coffee a week - a habit that really puts my coffee grinder through the mill, as it were, on a daily basis. You just can't beat the taste of coffee brewed from freshly ground beans. Even the very act of grinding the beans myself is something I look forward to. It has become a ritual that connects me to my kitchen and stimulates every sense. The aroma is released, my mouth begins to water, my hands tingle as they grip the body of the grinder, my eyes are hypnotized by the whirling beans, and... well the noise is pretty awful actually. In our fast-track lives in which we often eat on the fly and seldom make the time to cook, it is a privilege to enjoy such as sensual feast in your kitchen every day.

I'm sure I'd be healthier if I drank less coffee, but I belong to a long line of coffee connoisseurs. I started my coffee drinking devotion long before I should have. I had watched my parents in the middle of a heated 'discussion' stop and purr as the first wonderful elixia reached made contact with the tips of their tongues. I came to associate that wonderful aroma with a sense of well-being and close-knittedness. I wanted to be part of the grinding and brewing process; I wanted to be the magician that made a brew that made everything perfect. I have my coffee, like the Japanese have their tea. If you've seen 'Karate Kid,' you'll know where I'm coming from.

I can't understand why coffee grinders seem to be overlooked as gift ideas. They may not make the most glamorous presents, but they always make an impact on the lives of those who use them. What could be better than a coffee grinder for Christmas? It fits snuggly into a decent-sized stocking, and just a few hours later, leaning back in your chair after dinner, you can be breathing in the aroma of freshly ground coffee as you sample your first cup. Grinders can be found at any major store or mall. There's a grinder out there for you no matter whether you have 5 dollars to spend or fifty. My own modest grinder was bought about four years ago for 10 bucks. It has never let me down.

Giving a coffee grinder at Christmas, perhaps along with a carefully wrapped sample of premium beans, is the best gift I could imagine. I've given grinders to nearly all my family members over the years. As I've said, I come from a family of coffee drinkers, but I've also given coffee grinders as wedding gifts housewarming parties and even a college graduation. Funnily enough, nobody has ever bought me one. I guess they assume it's something I don't lack. My kitchen is more like my own cafÃ(c) than a food production area, and my coffee grinder holds centre stage on the counter.

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About The Author, Eoin Beckett
Eoin Beckett is a freelance writer and editor. He writes both short fiction and non-fiction for both online and print publications. Although he stems from Ireland, since his teens he has lived in countries all over the world and has forgotten many - but not all - of the Irish songs he grew up with. He currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.

There are more kitchen capers at Eoin's site The Cooking Pot