Bu Zuhro, my host mother, brought back a plastic bag filled with white beans the other day. I love beans, so I was excited to see them. When I found out they were the kind you drink, I became even more intrigued. I’d never actually seen coffee up close and personal before it hit my morning cup, so witnessing the process was special.
Before the beans are roasted, which the Indonesians, or at least Bu Zuhro, refer to as groreng (to fry), they were odorless. Once they were placed in a pan over an open flame, however, they became something else entirely. The aroma of those beans soon filled the air and, in turn, my nostrils, with pure joy. The darker they got, the stronger the smell and the stronger my desire to consume them.
I thought it might be fun, since it was such a novelty for
me, to smash the beans myself with this archaic contraption, but Bu and Pak Hadhi insisted that it would take way too long and that they would take the freshly roasted beans to a grinder off the premises instead. I suppose I would have felt the same way if I HAD to do it manually on a regular basis, as they once did.
When it was all said and done, I lifted the ban on my coffee consumption (I haven’t been drinking it here) and indulged in three, sweet cups of it. It was good, but nothing I can’t live without for the time being. It does make me miss making coffee at home with my french press though. Often times, there is great joy in the little things.