Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

It is the coolest morning of the fall; the winds have shifted from the north. Since my ancient windows at the Palace have not been sealed to keep the cold at bay, the outside air sneaks its way in from time to time. At about 4AM I awoke, looked over to see Her Majesty snoring away on the nest she had made in the extra pillows and immediately wondered who was making coffee. It persisted, my caffeine sensors going into overdrive. HM decided it was time for us to get up and for her to have her morning breakfast. After attending to her needs and receiving my customary "thank you" bark from a chowing down pug, I went out to get the newspapers for the ungrateful jerks who inhabit the Towers.

The 4:30AM air was crisp, chilly, the breeze steady but light. The remnants of a full moon was in the west, the sun still far out in the Atlantic, not reaching us in the great flyover as of yet. The air was thick, however, with the aroma of fresh ground coffee. The mystery had been solved, I had experienced one of the joys of living where I do.

Kansas City is home to one of the smaller and older Folger's Coffee plants. Smack in the middle of downtown continuously roasting coffee for 100 years. Quite an accomplishment for any factory these days. Many operations built 50, 60, even 90 years later sit idle and decaying all over the country.

When the roasters are going, downtown is fragrant with the heady and intoxicating aroma of fresh roast coffee. Locals find it comforting, visitors find it fascinating, especially since most downtowns reek of too many people and diesel busses. But this AM, the aroma had traveled. The north winds had gifted us with the scent of the night shift's labor. A nice warm batch of coffee beans was being processed to be shipped all over the world, supplying us caffeine addicts with our daily fix.

As the morning broke and the world awoke, the aroma dissipated; the coffee had been canned and bagged. The aroma now trapped in its sealed container, awaiting its release, its user reveling in the rush of a newly opened can. But I got it first, free and clear on a cool AM. Thank you Folgers, long may you roast!

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