I always used to think that love was a bit like black coffee: bitter. Until.
I’ll admit that I don’t know all that much about coffee, but I hang around enough hipsters to be qualified as someone who at least knows a cup of instant from a decent pour over. That being said, I can’t even take too much credit for that. My uncle, however, is a vicious, uncompromising coffee critic (and a mighty fine barista while we’re at it) who gives ruthless scrutiny when ordering coffee from any establishment. Simply put: he pours McDonald’s coffee down the drain. So maybe the appreciation for a good pour or draw does run in my veins.
Needless to say that when I asked him if he knew of “any sneaky coffee shops that (a) are sneaky (b) have good coffee” in Pretoria, he suggested Lucky Bread Company. “Best coffee in Gauteng IMO at the moment.” Bold statement to make, I think. “Also, they have a variety of brew methods.” Coffee to me, at this point, is like a new appliance – you know it’s going to do amazing things but you’ve just got to program the damn thing first. So when he said there were a variety of brew methods I was more fascinated than anything else.
“Their pour overs are sublime.” That’s like telling my amnesic great gran that she can fast-forward TV shows on a PVR. Wtf? He goes on: “Cappuccinos to boot. Best I’ve had in ages… Have the Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe pour over and try drink it black, no sugar. Subliiiiiiiiiime.”
Arm twisted. I traipse my way through a busy Friday-morning mall and plonk myself down at (what one of the waitresses described as) “a more interactive, friendly vibe” table. I take a moment to settle and then put in an order for the sublime. I’m a little sceptical because black isn’t normally my style, but I decided to write the day off (or on) as an adventure.
While I wait I revel in what my uncle puts as “sort of a pavement vibe in a mall so you can get lost but be part of the buzz.” I’m in my happy place. A short while later, served in a deep Smurf blue cup, Ethiopia – in all her coffee splendour – manifests on the surface in front of me. One minute to cool, one sip to decide.
And another sip, and another sip. Naturally, I was devastated when it finished all too quickly for my liking. Perfect; smooth; smoky; full-bodied; chocolaty; sublime. I’m not sure the human body was designed to handle so much goodness in one sitting so I stood up, spilled intentionally exaggerated compliments all over the barista, sat back down and near-demanded another one.
My uncle’s concluding words about Lucky Bread Company were this: “And now, I hope they live up to it…” Let me say this in conclusion: they didn’t just live up to it, they blew it right out of the water! Lucky Bread Company holds to the slogan: We are happy when you are feeling “lucky and satisfied”.
Dear Lucky Bread Company, you should be over the moon. Maybe love is a bit like black coffee after all… sublime.