Touchy-feely, scratch & sniff

Published April 14, 2010 by Syllable

I love doing a bit of tactile writing. The past couple of weeks I’ve written an article about coffee and one about nutmeg.

Having a barista as a colleague has been a great help. He brought me some roasted orzo, a type of grain, which when roasted is used as a coffee substitute in parts of Italy. Because it contains no caffeine, it is also safe to serve to children. I won’t do that though. This morning he brought me some green coffee beans, some in their hulls still. It’s really cool to see that. Hulled coffee can be stored for up to ten years, and green coffee beans for up to a year. Once your coffee is roasted and ground, it is best to use it within two weeks, storing it in airtight containers.

I’m not a very sweet girl, so I take lots of sugar (and milk – cream if I can, or the ultimate indulgence: hold the sugar and pass me some sweetened condensed milk, yum!), so I get that I’m losing out on the most of the taste and flavour of coffee. I can still taste if a roast is burnt though, ick, and I prefer my coffee not too strong. A lot of coffee drinkers will sneer at me, but my favourite coffee indulgence is a 500 ml latte from Wild Bean Café on a cool morning. It’s cheaper (and healthier I tell myself) than my favourite winter beverage – Chocolate Quente (available at vida e and made with lots of Lindt chocolate).

Nutmeg is another greatly fascinating topic. It’s amazing the superstitious history that accompanied this seed. In excessively large quantities nutmeg can be poisonous, and I even read the account of someone who experimented with this spice as a recreational drug. It didn’t seem too pleasant, and I would try or recommend it. Nutmeg is the seed of the fruit that grows on the nutmeg tree, and can be used in sweet or savoury dishes to give it some warmth with its yummy fragrance. Whole nutmegs again stays fresh a lot longer than the ground product does. Nutmeg oil is sometimes even used in the cheese-making process!

I’ve started a little collection of things I’ve written about, stored in little origami boxes (I’m talented like that), and look forward to do a lot more such writing. It’s really such a difference to write about something once you’ve actually interacted with it, or at least part of it.

As soon as my articles are available online I will upload the links to them. But now I need a cuppa java!

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