Recently I read somewhere that breakfast is the one meal where most folks don't deviate very much. I can testify to that. I'm happy eating pretty much the same breakfast for years at a time--seriously. Right now I have two primary breakfast meals in rotation. Breakfast one is a bowl of Mu Mu Muesli, fresh fruit, soy or cow's milk, and if I'm feeling really "crazy" I'll throw in a small scoop of Mountain Rise granola or some from Tierra Farms. This is my power breakfast and several times a week I'll get up at 4:30am in order to get this meal in before a long bicycle ride or a race.
Breakfast two is sunflower seed butter on toast with sliced bananas. If I've had a particularly hard workout or race I'll eat breakfast one pre-race and breakfast two post-race. And maybe half of a walnut cranberry scone from Rock Hill Bakehouse for a treat.
What never really changes, until recently, is my coffee. If I'm in a rush, it's a cup of French press. If I have more time, I'll pull some shots for a latte. These are the drinks that start my day (along with two glasses of water). But now that I've fallen in love with Forty Weight Coffee Roasters out of Brooktondale, my morning has been filled with ever-changing variety.
Founder Andrew Ballard moved to the Finger Lakes area after some time in Seattle. After years of wanting to enter the world of coffee roasting he finally created Forty Weight. If you're tired of the same old, same old super standardization of espresso, then Andrew is your guy. Fair-trade, check. Small batch roasted--yup. Full-on flavor--absolutely.
Most Saturdays I get to the CNY Regional Market and look for Forty Weight--often in C shed--and ask to taste one of the many roasts that Andrew and his crew is pouring that day--Guatemalan, Ethiopian, Sumatran, Costa Rican--and a few more are usually on offer. He's got a full set up--multiple grinders, press pots, and drip situation going. You can taste most everything he's got if he hasn't run out. If you don't have a grinder at home, he'll grind his freshly roasted beans for you.
Then comes the inevitable question--what's in the espresso blend this week? I've had maybe six or seven of Andrew's espresso blends and they are never the same. This is not by accident. Andrew seems to enjoy playing with all the possible blends for espresso and each time I fall in love with one, I have to be almost Zen-like in being willing to love it and let it go. Because it isn't coming back. And that's okay because when you have a roaster who is as dedicated as Andrew, you learn to trust the roaster. Each time I pick up a bag for my espresso I learn something and treasure it even more.
And that's perhaps Andrew's greatest gift--he and his crew set up at the market and teach us to love coffee in all of its complexity, nuance, and creativity. The blends can change at Andrew's whim as long as the quality remains high and what ends up in my cup is delicious--because I really drink coffee for the taste--and it had better be good.
Check out Forty Weight Coffee Roasters at the CNY Regional Market on Saturdays and at their website here.