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Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Coffee

Læs teksten på dansk.
"C-coffee?"

Coffee is poison. And yet I suddenly have the urge to roll in the mud and I say, "Yes, please."

I stand in the doorway and watch while he makes it. The kitchen is completely white. He takes up his position in the middle, the way a badminton player does on the court, so he has to move as little as possible. He has a small electric grinder. First he grinds a lot of light-coloured beans and then some which are tiny, almost black, and shiny as glass. He mixes them in a little metal funnel which he attaches to an espresso machine, which he places on a gas hob.

People acquire bad coffee habits in Greenland. I pour hot milk right on to the Nescafé. I’m not above dissolving the powder in water straight from the hot-water tap.

He pours one-part whipping cream and two-parts whole milk into two tall glasses with handles.

When he draws out the coffee from the machine, it’s thick and black like crude oil. Then he froths the milk with the steam nozzle and divides the coffee between the two glasses.

We take it to the sofa. I do appreciate it when someone serves me something good. In the tall glasses the drink is dark as an old oak tree and has an overwhelming, almost perfumed tropical scent.

"I was following you," he says.

The glass is scorching hot. The coffee is scalding. Normally hot drinks lose heat when they’re poured. But in this case the steam nozzle has heated up the glass to 100 °C along with the milk.

"The door’s open. So I go in. I had no idea that you’d be s-sitting in the d-dark waiting."

I cautiously sip at the rim. The drink is so strong that it makes my eyes water and I can suddenly feel my heart.


Peter Høeg. 1996. Miss Smilla’s feeling for snow. Translated from the Danish by F. David. London: Harvill Press. ISBN 1-86046-167-0. Text from p. 80.
 
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2002-09-09

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