Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I had thought myself above the Affectation of the Specialty Purveyor. There is an astrolabe shop in Denver in a league of its own. I only buy my arugula from a Burmese importer on East 55th Street. There's just something about the hexagonality of hexagonal wrenches at Cole Valley Hardware.

But I do like coffee, and I do have preferences. Being from the Bay Area, I have an affinity for Peet's. Increasingly, though, I find myself going to McNulty's Tea & Coffee Company on Christopher Street. To quote from their website: "A visit to our store is like a journey into another age. Located in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, the aura of a century long gone is timelessly preserved."

Well, whatever. But I do like watching the nice Chinese fellow pick out the appropriate rubber stamp with which to imprint upon my bag "Java Mountain Supreme," then search for the stamp bearing the modifier "French Roast." I like the way the black beans glisten on the 95-year-old scale. The oil from millions of beans has kept the scale's brass polished, even if it is beginning to wear entirely through in one place.