I read a ROASTe blog post on "Desserts and Coffee" earlier today and, duly inspired by that, I made the appropriately journalistic move of exploring further. There's a great pie shop near my house--Petsi's Pies, if you're ever in Cambridge or Somerville--and ordered a big fat classic apple pie to take home. Probably a good 4 inches of thinly sliced apples, layers upon layers of apples, probably MacIntosh. Lightly tart and minimally sweetened so that beautiful baked apple-ness comes through. Slight touch of cinnamon...it's delicious. I understand more fully today how Jack Kerouac was able to fuel his road-trips through the Midwest by big helpings of pie at highway diners. A slice of pie can be a meal.
I had my slices, of course, with coffee, one a ROASTe selection, one not. For the, ah, first slice of pie, I went with PT's John Brown, which is a nice medium-dark roast that retains surprising sweetness. You can that roast-induced brown-sugar/caramel, but it's not a very "roasty" coffee. There's also a surprising amount of coffee-fruit flavor...I'm guessing they put some of their ARDI in that blend, because it's got the berryness of a natural but it's tamed quite a bit by the roast. Anyway, it's a great coffee and it paired ever so well with that thick slice of apple pie.
For my second slice of pie--journalist, remember, objective reporting and all that--I paired it with Intelligentsia's Decaf blend, which I wrote about not too long ago. My verdict on the coffee then was that it's not bad for a decaf, in fact it's probably one of the best decafs I've had...but it'ls still a decaf. As someone pointed out, decaf is decaf just as non-alcoholic beer is non-alcoholic beer...the adjective is your prompt to qualify your gustatory hopes. But meals, or in this case snacks, can be greater than the sum of their parts, and I have to say that this slice of pie made that thoroughly mediocre coffee into something delicious. That slight sweetness of the pie just made the Intelli Blend taste so much like coffee. It was perfect, dare I say inspiring. For a minute there I wanted to get into my car and drive, and maybe write about my trip on a big scroll, and create some sort of mythology about the whole thing. Yes, that would be original of me.