For Christmas last year my friend Brian bought me 5 pounds of some wonderful small batch roasted coffee beans. About a month later, a friend at work bought me a cup of coffee when I had no coins for the vending machines. In return for his kindness, and that brownish liquid, I gave him a half pound of my secret stash. His wife, wondering where I got such coffee, wanted to know from where it came. Hence I wrote and emailed to my friend and his wife, The Story of the Beans:

Dear John,

While driving through the wilds of Vermont (State Motto: Those Free-Staters in New Hampshire Scare Us) my best friend and his girlfriend came across a local roaster, Dean’s Beans. Since Vermont (State Motto: The Manliness of Ethan Allen is a Thing of the Past) was rumored to be a friendly place, and being a bit parched, they stopped in for a cuppa.

One of the small batch roasts that roasting at the moment was a blend named by these hale and hardy Vermonters (State Motto: The Rest of you 49, Behave! We have other Governors with nothing to do.) after a famous and friendly fellow New Englander, Captain Ahab. Ahab’s Revenge was the name of the welcoming brew, and as black as its namesake’s soul it was. It was accompanied by an equally welcoming sign: Caution: Contains The Highest Level of Caffeine; May Cause Slight Hallucinations.

Station In The Woods (Linda O'Donnell)
I like to imagine they bought the coffee here Photo by Linda O'Donnell

“What Ho?” said my friends, for upon seeing the name ‘Ahab’ they were in a nautical mood. “Let us have some of this wondrous blend and see if the shopkeeper’s sign be true!” (They were no longer feeling the salt air; they actually talk like that.) And wouldn’t you know it! Spots appeared before their eyes! They yammered and chatted like little chipmunks all the way home, each having his own conversation with the other while the other wasn’t listening because both were lost in their little coffee world.

So it was that on a visit to Massachusetts I was told of this fantastic discovery they made in Vermont (State Motto: Don’t ask how Ben & Jerry get their cream so smooth) and the feelings it inspired. Upon waking in the morning I was given a cup of this magic blend for the first time and there they were! Spots! Pretty Spots! Colorful Pretty Spots!

And so this was remembered when Christmastime came, that my friends gave to me the gift of (almost) five pounds of this glorious brew (for being New Englanders they had to skim their tax right off the top). This is the situation I found myself in when I drove over to Paxinos a short while ago and discovered I had no money on me; Glorious beans at home, unable to get coffee at work. Being Catawissa, the only coffee that was available was from a vending machine in the break room. (Catawissa, as you know, is an ancient Indian term meaning, “Why the fuck doesn’t any office in this corporation have coffee brewing?!?!”) And you were so kind as to buy me, from the machine, something brown that at least fooled me until I reached Sheetz down the street, that in return I gave you yesterday a half-pound of this wonderful roast, all wrapped up in a plastic bag and aluminum foil, without a note, so it would arrive not only fresh, but looking like your anonymous hash delivery when the company courier dropped it off.

If this becomes your new crack, you can always get your fix straight from the dealers in Vermont (State Motto: Like Canada, Except more Annoying):

Ahab’s Revenge at Dean’s Beans


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