It can be easy to go along in life expecting each day to be similar to the one before. The alarm goes off at the same time each morning, I brew coffee in the French press, simmer some oatmeal, read for a bit and then get to work. I expect the coffee and oatmeal to taste about the same, I anticipate that the reading will start the day off right, and I trust that the work will be rigorous yet meaningful.
All of this is plain and pleasant, even luxurious. Yet we always have a wary relationship with our routines. They can be like stepping stones, keeping us hopping along from one predictable event to the next.
Unexpected combinations challenge my routines and make me take a second look at everyday life. What seems to be commonplace suddenly demands more careful scrutiny. When I throw a cucumber and some peaches together in a salad, this unexpected combination suddenly elevates the cucumber. It doesn’t seem like an ordinary vegetable anymore. What is it about the cucumber that allows it to blend so well with the peach flavors, and yet provide such a crisp contrast? When I throw bacon into an apple pie, suddenly I feel I’ve always underestimated both bacon and apples before now. It makes me wonder, what else am I missing? What else haven’t I been paying attention to?
The same was true when I tried a rosemary latte last week. I wouldn’t normally blend herbs and coffee. Fruit and coffee? Sure. Who doesn’t love a pumpkin spice latte? But rosemary? Wouldn’t that herb be better off in a loaf of bread or atop a roast chicken?
It turns out that a latte made with a rosemary infusion is sweet and rich, with graceful notes of rosemary in each sip. Drinking one is a way to carve out time in the daily routine, and to appreciate the surprising blend of herbs and coffee.
While the routine is getting stirred up a little bit anyway, it’s good to contemplate that piping hot cup of coffee a little more closely, too. “Every cup of coffee brewed in the United States,” says the Web site of local coffee roaster Burlap & Bean, “has an impact on a rural community overseas.”
If your routine includes as much coffee as mine does, it’s crucial to think about the source of that coffee, and to use coffee that supports the farmers who grow the coffee beans, like Burlap & Bean’s coffee does.
“We love that we are able to offer Burlap & Bean coffee here at Wolff’s for so many reasons,” says Ashley Wolff, floor manager at Wolff’s Apple House. “For one, it’s GREAT coffee. They take care to bring in the best beans and they roast them in house! Their coffee is fair trade and certified organic. It’s also wonderful that they are a small, local business, like us. It’s not only good for our local economy to support small, local businesses, it also often means that you are getting a finer product whose creators pay more attention to quality and detail because there is a certain pride in the craft. And that certainly is the case with Burlap & Bean.”
So grind up some high quality, locally-roasted, globally-conscious coffee, take a break from the routine, sip a new flavor combination, and look at daily life from a fresh perspective.
- Fresh Rosemary
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup water
- Dissolve brown sugar in water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved.
- Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add rosemary and simmer 10 minutes.
- Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth, cool and serve in drinks.
- For the latte, mix 3 shots espresso (or about ½ cup strong coffee) and ½ cup foamed milk plus 2 tbsp. of rosemary syrup.
Article written by Rebecca Talbot and coordinated by VanDuzer Design & Marketing for Wolff’s Apple House and may also be syndicated on Fig: West Chester and Rachel’s Farm Table.