The Coffee Merchant


Vincent took me to lunch in Enschede this afternoon. The weather was mid-winter miserable and we thought getting out of the house might provide some inspiration for the cousins’ dinner coming up this weekend. We’re hosting, so we’re making the main course.

Let’s go to the coffee merchant, “ suggested the love of my life after we’d paid the lunch bill. He’d read the first coffee blog and was of the opinion that we were low on Sicilian Roast.

By this time it had stopped raining but the wind had shifted and was coming from the east, fresh off the Russian steppes. It is the kind of cold that penetrates straight to the marrow, but the lure of the coffee merchant was strong.

On the Radhuisstraat in Enschede, you’ve got coffee merchants Douwe Egberts and Simon Lévelt within spitting distance of one another. We liked the fresh look of Lévelt and went in. Pausing by the selection of coffee treats, including cantuccini (hard almond cookies), fudge, bonbons of all varieties and some interesting bit of chocolate with a spoon stuck upside down in it, we selected a number of items for the coffee portion of the cousins dinner. The merchant was talking to another couple about the merits of mild, Guatemalan coffee so we hung around and horned in a bit to hear what he had to say.

When it was our turn, Vincent told him we were interested in beans. “Got our own grinder at home…” and the coffee merchant nodded in agreement that fresh ground is best. We selected a few different types of beans and I explained to the coffee merchant that I was blogging on coffee and finding the subject fascinating. “Oh,” says the merchant, “I’ve got a book to lend to you…”. So he gives me the loveliest coffee table book on coffee to borrow for a few days. I am fascinated by people who have a passionate interest in their work. If we had but world enough and time, I would have stayed there gabbing all afternoon. I promised to return the book on Friday and bring along Anthony Cappella’s sexy coffee novel, “The Various Flavors of Coffee” for him to read.


We left the store with the borrowed book, two coffee guides and:

Finca el Volcan -Guatemala- (my choice– I liked the name)

According to the literature it tastes: aromatic, fresh and with a smidge of cacao.

Espresso Roma -(  Vincent’s Choice)

Less heavy than the Sicilian Roast, still strong and aromatic.

Huismelange – (for everyday use)

A blend of arabica and robusta beans, full flavor, lightly aromatic

* Image of “The Various Flavors of Coffee”  from Google. All others are my own photos.

**Crossposted from my primary blog:


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