Wednesday, July 11, 2012

COFFEE!

I have no earthly idea who first thought of filtering hot water through coffee beans, but whoever did certainly deserves a place in the history books.


The past few months have wrought some changes in life.  No big deal, really, but adjustments needed to be made.  The reason I mention this is, on one occasion, the doctor was listing all things now forbidden.  The nano-instant he paused for a breath, I jumped in with "What about coffee?"

He asked what kind. "Regular, nothing added."  He shrugged and said, "Knock yourself out."  (Which I thought was kind of odd, as coffee is supposed to keep one awake, but that's just the way my mind works sometimes.)  But that was my first and most major concern at the moment: you cannot take away my coffee!

(He then went on with The List, which ended up rather substantial; months later, a friend cracked, "That leaves you Air, Water, Ice, and Broccoli!"  Sad to say, Peter kind of nailed that one.)

Moving along....

I'm not real sure when my obsession with the Java Bean and the Nectar it delivers began, but I do clearly remember the first time I ever tasted coffee.  It was an immediate bond, a necessity to get through the day, and I've never looked back.  Lots of little placards are showing up these days, like the one at the top of the page, and it got me wondering about this obsession we have with coffee.


Personally, if I have a choice, I stick with the fresh-ground slow dripped magic that comes from my Capresso.  This poor coffee maker has been used and abused for almost fifteen years now, and it chugs along like a little train, delivering cup after cup of coffee just the way I like it.  I'll admit there have been occasions, especially when working and/or traveling, when I drank stuff that didn't belong in a Tennessee pickup truck crankcase, but it got the job done, delivering that much needed jolt to clear the mind and help me focus.

Just for the fun of it, in no particular order, here are some responses from friends.  (If you click on the authors' names, you'll go to their web sites where you'll find some of the best Summer Reads going on today.  I promise you that.)

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My husband is the coffee drinker; he's a reporter for the Tribune papers in Florida.
 He uses store bought Gevalia coffee and a Krupps coffee maker.
 I like the smell of coffee and have been known to snort the bags of ground coffee, but I drink hot tea -- Dragon Well Green. I like loose tea and need at least two cups to jumpstart in the morning. Around 11 I take a tea break with more green tea, or flavored green -- strawberry green with real chunks of dried strawberries, or white tea with lavender. At bedtime, I may have a cup of chamomile -- plain old Bigelow bags.
 Avoid energy drinks. Just cold water from the fridge in a pint beer glass with a bendy straw.


We buy coffee beans and grind them at the shop using their self-serve grinder.  We buy our coffee at Trader Joe's.  On the other hand, I do enjoy going into Starbucks and buying a fresh-brewed cuppa.  We use a drip Melitta maker.  
As long as it doesn't taste like shit, I'll drink it.  I do doctor my coffee with milk and sugar. 
 I'll drink hot tea if I'm sick.  No energy drinks.

I have a 4 cup drip Mr. Coffee machine. 
I was on an Only-Italian-Ground-Coffee-From-Harrods-Dept-Store-in-London kick for years but last year my husband didn't travel as much so I buy ground  Folgers 'Black Silk' (we own a bunch of stock in P&G.) 
I am not picky about my coffee- I will buy and drink a cup anywhere (if you want the junkyard-in-TN taste try the coffee at  Becks Prime at Memorial Park, my every Sat morning beverage, yikes!) 
I drink one large mug of coffee a day, then water the remaining hours. 
No beverage gets my fingers to fly across the keyboard or the creative juices flowing unfortunately. But if one is ever invented, I'll buy it and guzzle it!

I'm a big Starbucks guy but I get my coffee at their local store. Don't grind beans or brew them myself.  But my local store has a Clover single serving brew system which is great. 
I use Starbucks Via for instant coffee and pretty much just boil water.
I wouldn't say I'm overly picky but I like to avoid the overly acidic lines and prefer full-bodies flavor.
 Caffeine sure helps!

Don't drink coffee. Yuck! (Ed. Note: Jenn and I are still friends, despite this.)
  I drink *gasp* energy drinks, preferably Sugar Free Rock Star.  
Drinking the energy drink is part of my writing process.  Don't know why.  It's like when smokers drink alcohol.  They will invariably have a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.  That's me only with pen, paper, and Rock Stars.


We grind our own beans--well, our Cuisinart coffeemaker does.Until a few years ago, I didn't drink coffee at all, preferring Coke Classic to get me going in the morning. But now that I drink coffee, I'm pretty picky. When we travel, I drink my coffee at Starbucks or Caribou Coffee. Never just plain coffee, black--always have lots of creamer and favorings! my current favorite is peppermint mocha or white chocolate peppermint mocha. In the fall/winter it's pumpkin spice or gingerbread lattes. I also drink decaf tea, peach and mango tea as well. Energy drinks? They'll kill you.


Store-bought beans - I love hazelnut creme - and we grind the beans ourselves. (Well, actually, we use a coffee grinder - its much easier than using the thumb and forefinger.) and 
Mr. Coffee. You know, the dumbed-down version.  A child could use it. 
 I don't like bad coffee--spent most of my life drinking bad coffee.  So I try to go to a place that at least has a decent cup of coffee, but I always put nonfat half 'n half in it anyway.  Won't drink bad coffee--like percolator coffee or Folgers coffee from a can. I mean that literally.  I will not tip up the grounds in the can and pour them into my mouth--I tried that once and I nearly choked to death.  Don't like soda, don't like energy drinks, don't like bow-hunting, either.  I know that's not relevant, but that's how I feel.



Pre-ground. We used to grind, but I realized that was a whole lot of time I'm never going to get back. Drip machine (with ILLY) for weekends, Keurig (with Double Black Diamond) for weekdays.
Very very very very picky. Meaning: it has to be coffee. I adore (and of course prefer) great coffee--really appreciate it. I have rejected some, I guess…but it would have to be pretty darn awful. Love tea.  I've never had an energy drink.


STACEY PURCELL

Well, as we all know, I don't do coffee.  I'm the tea sipper.  Spent too many years in colonial British countries.  I used to drink Earl Grey, but have developed an aversion to it.  Now I prefer English, Irish Breakfast, Darjeeling or most any other nice straight forward black tea.


I grind them myself, but not daily.  Whenever I run out.  So I'm not a true purist.  I'm half pure and half . . . well, bean slut, I guess.  I have a ridiculously pricey machine called the Moccamaster, but I admit, I truly love it.  It's not even fancy, just expensive.  Unless I'm having withdrawal headaches, I can't stand anything that's been sitting around too long.  But I've been known to drink cold coffee in the afternoon that's leftover from breakfast.  Does that make sense?  If it's hot, it must be fresh. Cold, I'll drink anything.  I drink everything. And let's not forget chocolate.

LAURIE FRASER

Grind the beans ourselves.  Lately Independence Coffee from Brenham (so many flavors to choose from!  Jet fuel, Vintage Bin #007 (Ed. Note:  Laurie said "007"....heh....)  , and EarlyWine Breakfast Blends are our favorites).  Mr. Coffee, Keurig, 2 separate French Presses (single and multi-serving - until we discovered French Press raises cholesterol levels - really???  so sad),   single drip for a single cup, espresso machine we haven't figured out still (we got it for our wedding - 5 years ago!).  I think that's all.....  We're pretty picky.  Skyler carries small bags on the road since the hotels don't always stock enough (and decaf just doesn't work - ask any pilot!).  I used to drink it all - especially in my flight instructing days when free was all I could afford.  That stuff had been made at 4 am usually and we were still drinking it at 5pm.  That stuff will eat holes in your stomach, but we drank it happily! I do drink tea first thing in the morning.  Until the first pot of coffee gets made and I can't refuse that smell!  I am half Canadian and I do appreciate a good cup of tea.

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For the final word, someone sent me this clip a few years back.  Cannot imagine why!

video

Best Coffee in the city of Houston?  That's an easy one!


32 comments:

  1. I'm the sad one of the bunch. I drink the instant Maxwell House International Delights. Sad, I know. But it is good.

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    1. Shana, for a long time I was a fanatic about one cup a day of the French Vanilla. I loved that stuff! Gave it up around eight years ago or so, but it was good coffee for the afternoon...:)

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  2. Great blog, Will. It's fun and interesting to see what fuels everyone. And as usual, it seems I'm an island onto myself drinking energy drinks. Ha!

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    1. Jenn does it HER way... Yep, there's a shocker..:)

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  3. I'm with you Will. Don't take away my coffee!

    CC

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    1. I'm with you, Christie! You can have almost everything else, but NOT my coffee!

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  4. What a fun blog today! I laughed out loud at a few of the responses and chuckled at the rest- oh we are such creatures of habit. This was a big hit at my house! Peter says he didn't mean to leave coffee out of his summary of what you can still have- his bad.
    Have you had your coffee yet?

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    1. Yes, Stacey, we really are "creatures of habit", aren't we????

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  5. I grew up drinking espresso coffee, Cuban coffee to be exact (which isn't too far from Turkish coffee). I can hardly believe that at one time I didn't drink any coffee for religious reasons.

    My ephemeral abstinence away from that liquid heaven made me more bitter than espresso without any form of sweetener. The moment it touched my lips once again I rediscovered Xanadu and realized I had missed an old friend. Yes, I realize such passion is rather melodramatic, but then so was my stint away from that dark pool of magic. I didn’t realize just how satisfying a cup of something so simple as “hot water through coffee beans” could be. I am happy to say I am a recovering non-coffee drinker and have repented of my wayward ways.

    Viva la coffee! By the way, Trader Joes has chocolate covered espresso beans. They are divine!

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    1. Glad you came back, Rosa! From the time in Miami, I remember Cafe Cubano quite well. One cup of that, I was good for the next two days...:)

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  6. Ahhh, coffee is a MUST HAVE for me. I do have my own grinder, but I love Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Can't drink coffee black, it has to have 'stuff' in it. Lots of stuff. Yummy!

    Raven

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    1. I know what you mean, Sheila! I went through a Starbucks' Caramel Macchiatto period during the Y2K nonsense. Extra caramel, light foam!

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  7. Mom always drank Folgers, and I do still like it; it just tastes right. I will drink others, and even flavored. I preferred tea until I was a Prudential agent in Minnesota, and people kept offering it, and I converted. There were a few years when I couldn't have any caffeine, not even the traces in decaf and chocolate -- that was HARD! Lately I've noticed that even fasting requirements for med tests allow a bit of black coffee. They probably got tired of dealing with the cranky patients.
    A friend thinks the Industrial Revolution couldn't have happened without coffee.

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    1. A lot of things would have never happened without coffee, Mary!

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  8. Great blog, Will! And though I can and do drink coffee (well, actually I'll have a little coffee with my flavored creamer) I have to give my "vote" to the hot tea crowd. With milk and sugar. Being raised by an Australian mother will somehow do that to a girl.

    But, either way, enjoy your coffee and keep up the great blogs! :)

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    1. Thank you, Shawnna. I'll drink tea in the afternoons, but for that Morning Wakeup, it's got to be coffee...:)

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  9. Very cool blog, William.
    I MUST have my coffee in the morning or I am not a functioning human being.

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    1. Thank you, Marie! We think alike...:)

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  10. While growing up, my parents couldn't get out of bed without their morning coffee...I swore I would never be like them. So I've never even taken a sip of coffee. Love the smell of the fresh grounds my husband uses on the weekends though!

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    1. Ironically, Tess, neither of my parents were real big coffee drinkers. A cup at breakfast, and that was that.

      Me? All day long...:) Well, until 2pm or so.

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  11. I didn't drink coffee until law school. Then someone introduced me to Starbucks and mochas. Choclate can make anything taste like heaven!

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    1. Suz, see above re: Caramel Macchiatos..:) Those were my un-doing back in the back. I'd never tasted anything like that in my life! Wonderful stuff..:)

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  12. I'm glad you got to keep drinking coffee. So, basically, for the rest of your diet: "If it tastes good, spit it out."
    I like Haagen Daz Java Chocolate Chunk. That's my guilty pleasure and I pity the fool who tells me I can't indulge.
    *hugs*
    ~J

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    1. Even *I* am not brave enough to take away the Haagen Daz, JD. No how, no way...:)

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  13. What a fun blog! (She says with her mug of coffee beside her.)

    I also had the "talk" with my MD that left me with 5 things on earth I can eat. Most of the time I adhere, but I ask you--who can stare down a chocolate cake??

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    1. (reaching for coffee before replying) Ohhhhhh, I can so identify, Sarah. I was a little cranky about it one day (hard to imagine, I know!), and it was reasonably pointed out to me, "Four years of medical school, another three to specialize in Cardiology, you *might* want to listen to the man."

      As I recall, I responded with the always witty and clever comment, "Yeah, yeah, yeah...."....:)

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  14. Great post, Will! :) Coffee is more like a treat for me. Like a chocolate shake or ice cream cone. Love the way it smells, but I haven't learned to like the taste yet. LOL For energy, it's Dr. Pepper all the way!

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    1. Hi, Melissa! Thanks for stopping in..:)

      Dr. Pepper was a mainstay for a long, LONG time....:) Cold, hot, or (major treat!) a Dr. Pepper float. The Diet DP is surprisingly good.... well, I'm not sure if it's that good, or it's better than water...:)

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  15. Hi everyone! ::::Waving at Sarah, Elaine, and Hank:::: I'm sort of with Elaine, I don't drink coffee and managed to marry a guy who is exactly the same. But the aroma -- wow. There is a coffee house in Dallas TX on 75 where just entering the door is better than the best perfumarie in Paris! Wish they'd bottle that fragrance as air freshener! Thanks for an amusing start to my day, Will.

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    1. Hi, Diana! I've got a Scentsy in the office upstairs, and the only cubes used are "Mocha"... what does that tell you?!?! (laughing)

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  16. Hi Will,
    Great blog! I wanted to leave a clever comment, but I haven't had my coffee yet!
    Carey

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  17. Hi, Carey! Come on back after that First Cup; I know your comments will be terrific...:)

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