Friday, October 30, 2009


I started drinking coffee when I was 12. Living with my dad and grandparents for a while after my dad divorced wife #3, we used to sit around the table in the winter and Grandma would make a pot of coffee. We'd have cookies that she would make, and everyone would chat about our days. I started with milk, but wanted to fit in so I asked for coffee. I drank it then like I drink it today, one cream, two sugars.

My dad bought me a coffee maker for my 18th birthday so I could take it to college with me. It sure came in handy, as whenever I had to pull an all-nighter, I would take my coffee maker down to the study room at the end of the hall in our dorm. It was while I was in college that I discovered good coffee. There was a Gloria Jean's in Crossroads Mall in Portage, and I would occasionally splurge on a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain or some other outrageously priced coffee, just to see how the other half lived. Now, overpaying for coffee is a national pastime. Stop at any Starbucks to watch.

When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I had to quit drinking the real stuff. I switched to decaf, but unless you make it at home, it's not usually that good. Almost every time I order at a restaurant, it tastes like it's been sitting for hours. Sometimes, the wait staff tell me that my palate is correct, they apologize, and make a fresh pot. A couple of years ago, though, we were on vacation in Gulf Shores and Magi's dad had some decaf in his office that was just out of this world. It was from Royal Cup, a coffee service and distributor in Alabama.

We have tried various methods of taking coffee to work. We've made it at home and used air pots to keep it warm, French presses to make it on site and while camping, and our newest coffee maker seems to do a pretty good job, making the coffee and putting it directly into travel mugs. But a recent stop at Starbucks gave me the opportunity to tri their new instant coffee called VIA. I know, instant coffee stinks, but this is actually good stuff. Tear a packet open, add eight ounces of hot water, cold water, or milk, and voila! It's good coffee, if a bit pricey. I won't drink it every day, but man, if I'm living out of a tent or at a boring in-service at work, I'll have an option that I'll look forward to using.
No, they didn't give me any for free, either, not that I would be opposed to that.

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