"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2016 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Best Espresso I Ever Needed
Saturday, October 15 , 2016
The weather was scheduled to come in to Northern California tomorrow and I spent about two hours on Thursday getting the drainage ditches on my lower driveway in shape to handle the flow. My driveway is over ¼ mile long. Along one side for about 300 to 400 feet or so is a drainage ditch the runs all the way down to the road and then through a culvert, eventually flowing into the lake.
I used my line trimmer to cut out all the weeds that grow along about fifty feet of the ditch due to the flow of the spring that keeps the ditch wet year 'round. Then the leaf blower was employed to clear out all those cuttings. It was about a two hour job including washing all the mud and debris off of the line trimmer and my boots once I got it back to the house.
Knowing that the rain was scheduled to arrive very the next morning I readied my rain suit and other clothing in preparation for braving the weather. It was to be the first real rain of the fall and was said to be bringing as much as five or six inches of precipitation. It is an annual event for me to head out and make sure that water was flowing properly to save my gravel drive. Some of the drive is steep and any flowing water down the hill can cause damage in a hurry. Keeping the ditches clear and flowing is an excellent of, “A stitch in time saves nine.”
Whether it was the sound of the rain that awoke my bladder at about five AM or it was my bladder that awoke me, it was evident from the sound of water running off the roof (yes, it was the sound of water off the ROOF!), it was quite evident that it was raining in earnest.
I suited up, rubbed a good leather treatment into my work gloves, donned my Gortex bucket hat which I topped with my high-power LED headlamp, and down the driveway I went, McLeod in hand, in the wee dark hours. It was a full 90 minutes of effort before I got back to the house. Mole diggings to be cleared, pine cones to be tossed, and plenty of leaves, rocks, and other organic material to be removed. Much of that was on hands and knees, lifting piles out which had collected and pulling a few weed clumps which were slowing the flow of water.
I got back in the house just before 7:00 AM and got out of my wet clothes. The rain suit is about to go into the trash because I was soaked to the skin. My pants were wet all the way from the hem of the cuffs to just below the pocket bottoms, and my shirt was so wet it was difficult to remove. But I toweled off and got into dry clothes. Now what?
The timer for my espresso machine started the machine up at about 6:20 AM and so there was only one thing to do before making the morning's cappas- Have a straight double to help wake up and warm up! Triple basket filled with about 20 grams of ground coffee at, or just just above a ristretto grind, and a two-ounce extraction later I was sipping one of the very best pulls I have ever had. Not just compared to the espresso I make at home, but I would rank it among the four or five best I have ever had. A marvelous balance of acidity, no bitterness, sweet, and citrus overtones with chocolate that lingered on my palate for over ten minutes.
After the second sip to verify the first, I was raving about the flavor and I told my wife, “You can't have any of this!” OK, a bit selfish of me, but after spending all that time, in the dark the wind and the pouring rain, I earned it. But beyond that, I needed it! And, yes, I later apologized to her. And, yes, she replied that she understood. It was a fair trade as she does not have to assist in my outdoor maintenance efforts.
It would be easy to write off that experience to state of mind. Sure, I really needed that drink right then after a hard morning's work and a chilled body. But I have had a few really great espressos over the years and a sufficient number of bad ones (and a few that were spat into the sink) to know the difference.
Sometimes the best comes along just when you need it the most. Espresso as well as wife.
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