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8.26.2010

CUP O' JOE

Once in awhile I meet someone who says, "I never in my whole life drank coffee."  Hmmmm, I think to myself, "How sad."   Sometimes a cashier in the grocery store will scan my bag of coffee and comment, "Oh that smells so good.  I love the smell but don't like to drink it."  My first real exposure to good coffee came while in Puerto Rico.  That's where I garnered my great love of smooth coffee and ever so much cream.  There, good strong coffee is brewed and whole milk is heated to scalding and the two are mixed - ratio of 2/3 coffee and at least 1/3 hot milk.  That wonderful coffee drink was no doubt the forerunner to Starbucks and every other coffee shop's Cafe Breve.   They do coffee right In Puerto Rico, but haven't seemed to financially benefit from the original introduction of this now coffee house standard.  That was it for me....I was addicted!  I have tried all different brands of coffee in hopes of finding something so smooth and creamy that I would not need the cream  - one of my 3 vices (and please it has to be real half & half, none of that artificial sugary crappy creamer concoction!).  Don't brew it like tea either.  My mom does that...you can literally see the bottom of the cup!  She knows I like it strong so now she says, "Lynn, you make the coffee."  Thanks mom - do you have cream??  Some coffee drinkers are like B-rated movies - since they never tasted good coffee they keep drinking Folgers or Maxwell house or coffee in a restaurant.  Please!!  When I started my last job my boss on my first day said, "Would you like a cup of coffee?"  Oh I wanted one for sure, but I had seen that he had made Folgers.  If that wasn't bad enough he just took the container and dumped till he thought it looked like enough.   I aptly responded, "No, I'm a one or two cup of coffee a day person.  Had mine at home."   Finally when I could no longer take not having good coffee at work I brought in a bag of my favorite coffee, Jamaican Me Crazy by Christopher Bean.  I brewed a pot one day and made him drink it.  He loved it and says he could instantly tell a difference over his cheap and tawdry Folgers.  In fact, he now has a hard time drinking yucky coffee at meetings and restaurants...my job is complete:)  I am most impressed with people who can drink it black, no nothing, just pound down a cup straight up.  My grandma drank coffee constantly - straight up black.  That is until she was in her 80's and developed an ulcer and had to give up caffeinated coffee (that's another point - decaf!).  There was always a pot of coffee on at grams and she always had a cup poured.   I once had a friend who loved coffee so much that if he left some in a cup on the coffee table overnight, he'd just get up the next morning and microwave it....iridescent film and all.  If you don't use cream in your coffee you just don't understand it.  That is most people don't.  Starbucks is another thing.  You either love it or you hate - much like Neil Diamond or Charro.  It tastes as though they have collected all the ashtrays from around the world and roasted their coffee beans in them.  And then, they charge you for such a delicacy!  A marketing genius is what I think.   I've had people say too, "I don't like flavored coffee.  Only plain."  They are the same people who I think go to Baskin Robbins and order vanilla ice cream.  People who don't drink coffee really should never make it for company just to be a good host - it will be horrible.  I've tried to give it up a time or two - actually had several ulcers myself.  I've even tried the health food store coffee alternatives made with dates, figs, barley, tomato worms and I believe bits of saw dust.... it just wasn't real good:)  There is also something to be said about sitting with a friend and talking and laughing over a cup of coffee.  Almost magical.  The day I filed for divorce I went back to my office and my boss (who now only makes the good stuff at work and drinks it black) had a steaming cup of coffee waiting for me on my desk - with just the perfect amount of real half & half in it.  It was his version of a hug.  He told me later that he was trying to replicate the right color in my cup and had to start over once after making it way too light tanish!   There isn't much better on earth than a piece of homemade pecan pie and a good cup of coffee, heavy on the cream please.  Did someone say pie??     

2 comments:

  1. Yep, I thought I was the coffee queen til I met you...shook things up you did! I drink it black
    btw...just sayin...and somewhere between seeing the bottom of the cup and being able to stand a spoon in it. Pass the pie please.

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  2. Oh My Word!!! Dates, figs, barley, tomato worms and sawdust!?! I didn't know you also knew the ingredients for hummus!!

    Can you hear me cackling!?!

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