Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Wildflower Protocol: Coffeeneuring to Jobot


15 mile coffeeneuring ride to Jobot in Phoenix: worth it

There's this sign that's been haunting my daydreams the last few weeks. It seems like it's not directly coffee- or bicycle-related, except that I rode by it again on my way to Jobot in Phoenix for the second ride in my pursuit of Coffeeneuring 2014 glory. Or, maybe it is coffee-related.


The active, imperative voice, with an impatient schedule, anti-wild, with lovely floral accents, commercial

First, I'm not sure that they count as "wild" if you plant them in a specific place, with a specific purpose, under the guise of ownership. Second, the whole "NOW" order also seems to undermine the wildness, if not also the flowerness.

On the other hand, what a glorious sign of months of mild weather ahead, months of 70°F afternoon meanders seeking out new art, new (to me) coffee shops, new sights along old routes, and so on. Wildflowers! Now! How can you have trouble with that? OK, I can't. I worked it out over a coffee at Jobot.

Flower pondering fluid

Wildflowers make me think of sweet French butter produced by happy cows munching easily in sunshine-drenched meadows. In comparison with le beurre, most American butter is bland and industrial. The French demand greatness in their butter, probably because they seem to put it in more or less everything. Curiously, though, their milk is, in the main, awful, since it is UHT (Ultra High Temperature) treated, and to both me and my daughter, tastes burnt and metallic. What I need, I think, for my coffee, any coffee, is cream from those cows before it is UHT treated. A couple shots of good espresso with a splash of that would be heaven.

The cream at Jobot, alas, did not remind me of French cows happily munching wildflowers in sun-drenched meadows. However, it did remind me of coffee I had in Austria. My palette is not that refined that I'm claiming that their coffee or roast has anything to do with Austria, but I trust my memory, and here's what happened.

Some coffee I had in Austria recently

Often, in Austria, they serve coffee with water on the side. In the case of Salzburg, also with a Mozart chocolate on the side. Anyway, sitting in Jobot thinking about this particular coffee, I thought, the water on the side has particular, specific effects when you sip some after a few sips of coffee. So, after finishing my Jobot coffee, I took some big sips from my water bottle, and BAM! My memory said AUSTRIA really loudly. Which, I think, is a good thing.

Elmac Kofie mural across from Jobot, w/coffeeneuring ride

Oh hey FLOWERS

How we decorate mechanics shops in this neighborhood

Pondering the wildflower dilemma over my Austria-reminding coffee at Jobot, it came to me: the wildflowers are programming us to do their bidding. To make our hearts go pitter-patter when we see their glorious colors and catch wafts of their heady perfume, to make us seek out their seeds and plant them in our yards, to co-opt their colors for our walls and clothes, to feed them to our French cows to make ethereal sweet butter which induces dreams of the perfect cream for coffee.

It's not petty human hubris or naked commercial interest behind the PLANT WILDFLOWERS NOW sign. It's the flowers. They did it. The wildflowers haunted my daydreams with their insistent riddle: can you capture us? Do you remember? If a sip of water puts you in mind of Austrian coffee, what about an overwhelming cloud of flower-perfume on a hot afternoon (see current blog header above). How does that strike you, pondering cyclist/coffeeneur? Catch us, plant us now, if you can.

Crossed two freeway bridges to get to Jobot: 1

2

Tricky wildflowers. They are inside my brain, in the perfume neurons, the color neurons, the close allies of taste, and memory. Perhaps the imperative voice telling me to PLANT THEM. NOW. is not out of place. Because it's a flower voice that speaks to me, across miles, over coffee. Once they sprout up and bask in the sun, I'll sip them water from my bottle, to see what they remember. I've become an agent of the wildflower protocol.


Jobot ambience shot. Locked bike to fence out front.

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