04 March 2008

A Congruence of Virtue and Pleasure

I've gone to excess, no doubt, and it would be akolasia if it were a matter of the sense of touch (including consolation and comfort) rather than the sense of taste.

I mean my recent obsession with coffee. Actually, this represents my acquisition of various virtues, and in a moment I'll explain better why.

My obsession began last fall with the purchase of a Bunn drip brewer, the only home machine that brews at the proper (high) temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Centigrade).

This raised my standards and necessitated, of course, the purchase of a burr grinder for better quality.

But having correctly ground beans inspired me to get an espresso machine. And soon after that using beans that were roasted weeks ago became intolerable.

Thus, finally-- i.e. for the while--I bought an air corn popper doing off-label duty as a coffee roaster. (There's a big secondary market for those things on e-bay.)

My own freshly roasted beans. Ahhh.....

Now you know that, according to Aristotle, the mark of a trait of character is what we take pleasure in, and are pained or distressed by. Also, a mark of liberality is what we regard as a proper expenditure of money.

Well, to pay for these machines, I gave up spending money at Starbucks for the last several months. Then, last week, when I tried a Starbucks capuccino simply as an experiment , I found it so disgusting that I couldn't drink it. (And my wife has changed in the same way.)

So, you see, I've acquired--count them--two new virtues.


JIW said...

Brilliant. And an excellent example of habituation to virtue. Learn to drink what the good person drinks...