A Book, A Tea and Two Early Afternoon Shop Stops

This morning started like any other Saturday morning. Woke up at 6:26am and headed for the bathroom then wandered into the kitchen when I noticed it was six-twenty-six in the morning. Yawning I pressed the kettle button as the water started to churn then my brains caught up to what day it was. “Shit, isn’t it Saturday?” said I outloud to the stove, microwave and refrigerator. “What am I doing up? Go back to bed!” screamed my inner thoughts between my ears. Standing on my side of the bed, I watched my wife sleep for thirty-three seconds then picked up my hoodie and wandered back into the kitchen.

A few minutes later I sat down in the large black armour chair setting down a cup of hot Twinning’s earl grey tea watching the steam rise up above the water as the bag sat inside my favourite white Canada mug with its blue etching of an Albertan mountainside. Then I picked up my latest copy of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache inspector novel A Trick of the Light tugging at the page where I had left the orange and red bookmark sticking out between pages 196 and 197… and began reading ‘The Surete team spent the morning in the Incident Room…’ Less than five minutes into the page my head bobbed and my eyes fell back together.

A few hours later I was spooked back into existence as my wife’s face was inches from my own as should stood by trying to decide if I was sleeping or dead? As we ate breakfast around noon she informed it was hard to tell “dead or alive” as I wasn’t doing my normal peculiar sleeping habits and my breathing was very shallow.

Whilst eating our cinnamon bread french toast with black berries and maple syrup we discussed the plans for the afternoon. “I’d like to head over to Silver Cove to see if I can find a piece of Jade, then possibly a stop at Rock & Gem to see Azar about a conversation we were having a few weeks back about tumbling stones. Then I’d like to take a walk up to Lowe’s get some bird seed and take a walk around the park if it warms up above 10-degrees and if not then I’d like to finish off the afternoon reading my book with a hot cup of tea,” I stated followed by, “and what would you like to do?” She smiled mulling over the plethora of Saturday afternoon possibilities then replied with, “I like your plans, may I join you?”

Precisely at a quarter past one, we climbed into the Tacoma pulling on our sunglasses and pulling out of the parkade. The short journey to Silver Cove last all of twenty-eight minutes as the store clerk was obnoxiously talking to a single customer and although extremely knowledgable in what he was saying, was completely ruining the stores atmosphere and vibe. Stepping outside I watched people next door animatedly talking.

“What’cha doing? she asked politely. “Enjoying the hot sun on my face. Hey do you want to go to this coffee roaster around the corner?” I replied, then “I came across their signs a few weeks back. I think its just over there.” I pointed across the street towards a handmade sign that read, Coffee Beans Best in Edmonton.

Stopping the truck across the street there was another hand painted sign, this time it was sitting in the bed of a white Ford F150. Roasting Today Coffee Beans with an arrow pointing to a building. Through the front door you could see five burlap bags, a scoop, coffee beans and a couple of signs that read “You’ve come to the right place for Coffee” and “Everyone can use a cup of Beans” we laughed and entered the store.

Upon entry the proprietor’s looked at my wife with her strawberry shortcake mask and greeted her with a smile behind their own masks. The man in his office looked up then immediately began to laugh as I turned my head to look at him. “I had seen your reflection in that mirror and Oh My! I love it! You probably get many compliments on that mask!,” he said as he continued to laugh. Then I looked at my wife and his too. His wife’s eyes gleamed upon seeing the mask and her laughter followed the words from my wife “people love to see him with this mask it always makes everyone feel good!

“That is truly the best mask I have seen to date,” said the woman then she said what we were both really hoping for, “Would you like to see our roaster?”

“Of course, we would, it smells like freshly roasted beans in here! I love it!” exclaimed my wife. As I walked by the small store front with the beans in their black bags and bright coloured labels, I spotted the hot cup of coffee on the table next to a magazine about traveling in Mexico.

The proprietor explained that their roaster is a one of a kind. That her husband designed and built with some help of friends here in Edmonton. She explained all of their beans come from an importer based in Vancouver. And that they had roasts from mild to dark. Then she provided to us a sniffing adventure of the roasts they had done earlier that morning: Costa Rican, Sumutra, Ehiopia, Brazil and more. Each bucket we sniffed the scent of the roast became darker, deeper and more robust in nature.

NXT Roasters, Edmonton AB Canada

Back out front, we looked over the choices of freshly roasted beans and were informed each bag cost $10.00 per bag, and each bag weighed 454 grams. We opted to purchase $40.00 CAD in beans and went with two medium roasts a Guatemala and Costa Rican, as well as two dark roasts from Brazil and Ethiopia. Back in the truck we discussed which bags we would keep and which bags we would gift to the family tomorrow.

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