The mocha of the evening settled over the city like a frothy non-fat foamy whip. The jittery Jacks and Jills, fresh from the daily grind, were searching for that next jolt. And me, the city beat reporter for the Java Express-o.
Joe, my constant companion preferred the more colloquial spelling, “espresso.” Roast, toast, boast, what did Joe know? He was denser than an over-brewed pot of coffee at an all-night dinner. He was more familiar with the French Press than my rag, in this, the city that never sleeps.
I was covering the night beat. Not a latte going on. A quiet night in a jumping java juke joint, the Caramels and Juan Valdezes of the world making the drip, drip, drip of a dry roasted conversation—creamy and sugary and sometimes just straight up darker than a thirty-year-old filter.
Just then, the mad Columbian, Chi-tea came hissing and steaming in. She was full-bodied, with a nice aroma, toasty, but a little nutty. She was pleasant enough and fit in well with any occasion.
“Boys, have you heard about the new brew in town, the one the Americano brought in? The cat crap coffee from Indonesia?”
Our barista, Joey, came over and in low, decaffeinated voice told us.
“Yeah, I heard about this brew. It’s all the talk of the town. I heard the cats eat the beans and the poop is turned into, well you know.”
Well being a very deep subject, I didn’t know what the beans were turned into but I shrug my shoulders anyway and nodded my head as if I did or I had an itch.
Joey added, “Yeah they smuggle it in coffee tins and it goes for twenty green beanies a pop. It must be some really good sh—” Joey stopped looked around. “Stuff. You know that Hollywood star Buck was caught with three cups of it.”
Just then Chi interrupted the heated and brewed conversation.
“Boys, if you want to write about something, let me take you to this place, Cappa’s in Cino. It is hotter than a McDonald’s brew at the to-go window.”
I thought better of this. Coffee that cats would rather poop out than drink didn’t sound like my cup of tea. Maybe it was Joe’s urging or all this talk about pooping that made me want to leave the jumping java juke joint in search for the steamer side of town.
“It is roasting in here and the bean is about to pop.” Chi added as we arrived at Cappa’s in Cino.
Joe looked around the joint. It was tall in a grande style, more venti than European. Joe said in a smoothie voice, “What’s all this frappe about cat coffee?”
I just shrugged again; all this talk about poop has me twitching.
Just then Sumatra, the Arabica, who really knew his beans, came over.
“Chi, I see you are back, and with friends this time. They look a little dry roasted, new to this end of the brewer.”
“Listen Sum, I have the cash do you have the cra…”
Chi wasn’t going to have any of this macchiato talk. He could save that for the Ethiopians and their mountain-grown brew. She was here on business—cat crap business.
Across the street was the Caff Eine which was lively and hopping. Seemed like a lot of nervous energy over there. Maybe we were onto something here. My attention was drawn back to Chi dealing with Sumatra, as Joe and I just started pacing, picking things up, arranging the furniture, cleaning up in the wash room. Pacing back into Cappa’s in Cino, we watched Chi and Sumatra discuss the finer details of cat crap coffee. Looking over at Caff Eine seeing a squirrel, back to Chi and Sum, just waiting to see if what the cats’ reject is what we’ll accept.
Yeah, the life of the night beat reporter for the rag Express-o, just another night in the city that never sleeps.
(Author’s Note: Kopi Luwak beans make the most expensive coffee in the world. Indonesia is the main supplier of the beans which are harvested after Asian Palm Civet a species of cat, eats the husky pods and poops out the bean which are collected, cleaned and roasted. A kilogram of the coffee sells for about $700 U.S.)