Coffee Brake

Today’s post comes from Clyde of Mankato

I have given into the rampant coffee culture, an invasion from foreign lands such as the Middle East, so it is my guess that Trump and the Trumpeters do not participate. Coffee was brought to Europe by Asian invaders, it seems.

In my childhood coffee was this weak watery stuff, in my house more watery than most, my mother being that thrifty. She bristled at being called cheap, which she was. Coffee would also stunt your growth.

It took my a few years into my adulthood to start drinking it, then I stopped. Coffee was made in the faculty room, a place I learned to shun, and by midmorning was over-heated – the coffee and the room. Sandy has never been able to drink it. I learned to sip it to be sociable. My daughter had sworn she would never drink coffee, as did her husband. She did not even drink it to be sociable. Now they have this fancy-schmancy coffee system and thrive on it.

So about ten years ago I started making it occasionally, then almost every day. But I seldom buy it out and about; it is expensive, and I do not like dark coffees. Starbucks is battery acid to my pallet. Then my son, a devotee of coffee who has tried roasting his own beans, clued me into two temptations: 1) blonde coffees, such as Starbucks Veranda and 2) Trader Joes, especially their Joe and their Soft and Mellow. Thrifty, if I ignore the gas to go up to the Cites to buy it. (Thrifty I call myself, never cheap.)

I made a drip pot every morning. Every so often I would press coffee. My coffee has grown a little stronger and a little stronger. Then lust set in, fueled by my daughter’s fancy-schmancy coffee maker, which allows you to make a cup at a time if you wish.

Both of my offspring extolled the virtues of grinding your own coffee. Temptation won. Last week I ordered a thrifty coffee grinder. I lust after a single cup coffee maker. However, I am finding that grinding coffee each morning and pressing it is very nice, especially out on the patio before the heat rises. Somehow each morning for the last week my blonde coffee gets a little stronger each day.

I am still coveting a the single-cup coffee maker. (But not my neighbor’s ass.) A cup at a time as I wish, easily done! Oh, my, I do sin.

However, I will have to hide the grinder this weekend. My sister and brother-in-law are coming this weekend. They go on tirades about their children and their dedication to coffee and how strong they make coffee and the money they spend. They are cheap for their children’s sake.

What do you hide from guests?

 

 

87 thoughts on “Coffee Brake”

  1. Well, we hide any hint of alcohol when our recovering friends visit, but we do that out of consideration, not embarrassment, since we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable.

    One of my friends told me about her totally irrational response to a visit from her parents from California. She said she wore herself out cleaning and organizing every closet and drawer so that her mom wouldn’t see anything messy.

    We love our French Press coffee pot, and I have been spoiled for life and can only tolerate strong, thick brew . I believe I will go and make some right now.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Nice job, Clyde. My last job at the University of MN was to edit and write a little magazine about the five health science departments. I’ll always remember an afternoon spent with the dean of the Public Health department.

    He explained that a few decades earlier everyone in health sciences “knew” coffee was bad for health. Every health researcher wanted to rocket to fame by publishing the first paper showing exactly how coffee erodes health. All across the country, universities competed in a frenzied rush to discover this ugly truth.

    Nobody found it. Millions of dollars spent exploring the hazards of coffee failed to find a single problem with moderate coffee consumption. Since that conversation I have noticed at least two studies that showed how coffee improves health. So, if you enjoy morning coffee, do so with no guilt.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OT: speaking of “vicious,” I’ve been remembering a story my dad told me when I was a toddler. The story was about Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. It made a huge impression on me. But I always had trouble believing Brer Rabbit would attack a tar baby like that. And I had more trouble believing that he would continue to punch the tar baby after getting stuck in the tar. A person wouldn’t do that, would they? And then Donald Trump decided he was “viciously attacked” by Khzir Khan and decided to retaliate. Oh my.

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  4. My dad never drank coffee (except to stay awake), because my Grandma made it so strong you could stand the spoon up in it. My mom had to have her coffee, but also the weaker variety. I began drinking in college; I remember in my first San Francisco buying a glass percolator (wow, look at this! http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/281966403984 ). In NYC I learned to drink “kwaffee-milk” and to this day do not enjoy it w/o quite a lot of half and half.

    I’ve tried several times to “get off” coffee, and have been partially successful by replacing it with black tea. I do buy it once or twice a week if there is a good coffee place in my path. If I do make it at home, I have a nice little French press pot that makes the best coffee I’VE ever made.

    Be sure to show this post to your kids, Clyde, some time before the Christmas season.

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  5. I started drinking coffee seriously when my freshman college roommate and I would spend hours drinking and talking on weekend mornings at Boulder’s Village Pancake house. But with cream and sugar. Then I spent nine months in Great Britain and Europe and discovered coffee I truly liked…cafe au lait, cappuccino on the board going over and five months in Switzerland, coffee in England with demerara sugar. For years I used espresso machines daily, wearing out several….then between machines I re-discovered my French presses. And that is my daily cafe au lait (now with goat milk)…one grande a day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Living above a Tea Room in a little village near Zurich for several months, I also discovered how delicious bread can be…as opposed to just something to hold peanut butter.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I hope to get my basement under control some day. Until then, I will hide my basement form guests if I can. There is no need to show them that mess and I will avoid showing it to guests as much as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup, for sure mine also is off limits to guests…bedroom also. Retirement is suppose to be “clean-up and out” opportunity. Slowly…slowly….slowly.

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  7. My three year old CA grandson has coffee every morning and has drunk it for a couple years. His coffee is a glass of milk with about a teaspoon of coffee in t. Their pediatrician said there was nothing wrong with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not a coffee person – don’t like the taste or even the smell of it. And I don’t eat coffee flavored anything. I made it through 4 years of college and 34 years of hospital shift work (more than half of it straight nights) without it. I will probably die without coffee ever passing my lips. Actually I am not much of a caffeine person, either – rarely drink caffeinated beverages. My beverage of choice is plain old water.

    As to what I would hide from guests – probably nothing. My condo is small and I am a fiend about clutter of any kind – and I really do love to clean. I freely admit to having an anal-retentive personality.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. cynthiainmahtowa – Not at this point. Am trying to help my younger sister get her house in order. Also attempting to start the clean out of my elderly mother’s apartment. She has WAY more than she needs or can find but is reluctant to let anything go. I have to be kind of sneaky.

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  9. I don’t like coffee, either. I drank it for a while at an early morning, boring job for a while but with lots of cream and sugar. The caffeine makes me wired and I don’t like the taste.

    I will hide my best chocolate from guests and try not to open any closet doors — assuming I’ve made the effort to clean up my house. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just in Fountain City this weekend visiting family. I was thinking of contacting you, but was really busy with my family. Hopefully, next time!

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  10. i find that when i have guests i am given pause to look at what i consider normal and live in the midst of everyday and view it through the eyes of my guests.
    i was asked to give someone a ride in my car a while back and simply said no because the guest before had been exposed to the reality i drive around in and it occurred to me that the situation i am in tells more avout my current state than i am comfortable with.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I’m not given to hiding anything, but I do clean and clean before Nonny visits. I’m the middle sister in this regard; my middle sister has a hazmat house and my baby sister’s floors are so clean (even w/ dogs and cats) that you can eat off them.

    Like Cynthia, I started to drink coffee as a freshman at college. But it was during my bakery days that I learned to drink it cold. I’d pour a cup of coffee, get about 2 swallows while it was still hot and then by the time I got back to the cup, the coffee would be warm and then the next time it would be cold. If you didn’t learn to drink it cold, then there was no point in pouring the cup in the first place!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I sometimes put my leftover cafe au lait in the fridge if I haven’t finished it with my breakfast…love it cold with a piece of chocolate mid-afternoon.

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  12. Just for you, Clyde, I wanted to post a film clip of Hamlin Garland making coffee. He was apparently extravagantly proud of his coffee-making skills, though, if you watch this, I expect you will be at a loss to fathom why. The film I have posted here is awkward and dull and eight minutes long, though it seems longer. If you can, advance to the 6:00 mark to catch the coffee-making bit.
    http://people.uncw.edu/newlink/garland/HG_video_1964.html

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        1. That was exactly one of my three. Also Mississippi John Hurt’s “Coffee Blues” and also “All I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee”, but I couldn’t find the version I had in mind.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. So you see, I did sin. Today I sinned. The big box stores load up on dorm and apartment stuff in August with four colleges here. Got a good buy on a single cup coffee maker. Had a bit of room in the account.
    Also toady I have put to rest all of the stuff to do over the data theft.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I don’t really hide anything, but my bedroom is off limits. Also, I’d advise against going down into the basement. Not that there’s anything to hide, but it’s a dungeon.

    My friend with FTD, Ken, is at the stage in his dementia where he has lost inhibition. He’ll walk around and opens doors, and look in closets and cabinets. Don’t know what he’s looking for, food perhaps? He loves sweets, and if you have anything sweet – chocolate, candies, baked goods – sitting around, he’ll just take it and eat it. No hiding anything from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Depends on the guests…I have been known to take the stacks that tend to accumulate on the dining room table and relocate them to the bed upstairs where I can hide them behind a closed door. Can’t hide, though, the natural “funk” of living with a hound, a cat, and (at present) two guinea pigs. You will encounter fur and funk, no matter how much I might tidy up (and, frankly, on my good days it’s slightly organized chaos at best). Good thing I’ve got a cleaning person who comes every two weeks – gotta pick up before Marv comes so he knows where to clean. 🙂

    (Add my name to the coffee drinkers list – developed a taste for it in high school when I was working at a downtown theater and needed something to warm me up after the bus ride there. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just not Folgers.)

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  16. My father would occasionally put ground espresso beans in his Bunn coffee maker at his little coffee shop where all Luverne ‘s working guys came for lunch. They accused him of trying to kill them. My dad loved French Press coffee at our house and wished the pots were bigger so they made more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny, but worse is tea. Tea contain s tannin, which was one of the first things used to dissolve wood fiber to make paper. I can taste the paper in in a paper cup.

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  17. I have two coffee stories. One is when I accidentally served a guest a poisoned drink at a Caribou store in Wayzata store by mistakenly making a latte with cleaning fluid instead of expresso. Oops.

    Next – and 35 years ago – I watched my brother, home on break from college, drinking coffee. I was so enthralled with his serious studying and smoking a pipe that I decided to learn to drink coffee. I tasted awful, by I kept trying anyway. I didn’t take up a pipe, but soon learned how to smoke cigarettes. For 23 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. i used to drink the french roast back in the 70’s which made me very suave and debonier. i had kind of a coffee and cigarette thing. and back then you could smoke in the office . i remember having the ash tray full and three of 4 coffee cups sitting on my desk at a time. 4, 5, 6 pots a day and then i had an ulcer pop because of the overly intense mode i was engaged in. i remained intense but the homeopathic doc i had insisted i get off coffee and switch to tea. i tried lipton and loved it. i have enjoyed 4,5 6 pots of tea a day ever since. earl gray is good but i cut it with lipton . a mix is better than the straight stuff.
    the new cold brew trend is one that makes me smile. my drummers mom from honduras had been making the cold brew concentrate since she was a little girl. she knew, less acidic, more buzz form the caffine, fuller taste. all you java heads might look into it. i hear its the way….

    i dont hide my caffine thing. my wife drank a couple galsses of my lipton iced tea before bed the other night. (i hadnt noticed it was unusual ) and it kept her up all night. i drink three or four 16 oz glassses and have one on my bedside table for my evening whistle whetter. maybe what i hide is my metabolism. i am a little intense and sometimes folks miss that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That cold coffee thing was a trend many year ago. We drank if for years, don’t recall why we stopped. As I recall, it was pretty good.

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  19. My first coffee was espresso in Italy when I was 21. It was the worst stuff I ever had but it was exciting and exotic and I came to love it with lots of cream and sugar.

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  20. When I was a kid my parents used to use coffee as an excuse for sitting and relaxing. They were forever saying, “I’ll do that. But first I want to finish my coffee.” I didn’t figure out until a year ago that they were using coffee as an excuse to smoke cigarettes. They would have been embarrassed to say, “Just be patient. We’ll get going soon when I’m done with this cigarette.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have the Keepers Coffee compilation. It includes many of the songs referenced above. (Probably also many referenced below, I predict.)

    I started drinking coffee at my first job. You drink it because it’s there, I guess. I always liked the smell of coffee when I was a kid, but it was an acquired taste. Started out with cream and sugar. Quickly dropped the sugar. I mostly drink it black now, but if it’s very strong coffee, cream is a nice treat. I don’t care for weak coffee, but weak coffee with cream is almost worse.

    I have a single cup coffee maker that I’ve had for about 30 years. It predates the fancy schmancy K-Cup kind – it’s just a small version of an automatic drip machine. I also have the full size automatic drip, and the French press. I have an electric coffee grinder and a manual one. I have a gas stove, so if the power goes out, I can still make coffee in the French press, even if all I have on hand is whole bean. This is important!

    As for the question – the basement, hands down. It’s damp and musty and full of cobwebs. Like something from a horror movie.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Hi–

    I don’t drink coffee. For a few years I drank Kwik Trip french vanilla cappuccino. But I gave that up and went to tea.

    I remember the percolator my folks had- that was fun. And then they had a Norelco drip coffee maker.

    Once upon a time I had a serious day of lighting troubleshooting coming up. I went to Caribou Coffee and got a large ‘real’ cappuccino (no fake Kwik Trip this day!). Oh my it was terrible. But boy was I making mistakes twice as fast as usual! And then about 3:00 in the afternoon when the day was turning to crap and the lighting people had decided the upgrade was not going to work, well, that’s when the coffee wore off and I got a terrible headache.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. So, off topic. Husband and I planted potatoes for the first time this Spring. The plants keep flowering, What does this mean? When do we dig them up?

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    1. The flowers indicate that the plant is forming tubers. You should be able to harvest the potatoes two to three weeks after they have bloomed. I usually harvest only what I need for a particular meal, and leave the plant to continue growing. If you do chose to dig it up, be sure to do it gently to avoid cutting or bruising the potatoes.

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    2. Wisdom of mother Adeline, who raised gardens that sustained us.
      For early spuds (cooked in cream sauce with fresh garden peas or just with butter) you can pick a week or two after a vine starts dropping flowers, but you check on their size before pulling them. Want them close to the size of a golf ball, not too much larger or smaller.
      For fall harvest we waited for a gentle frost or two but not a hard frost., which meant we usually harvested our 20 (ca.) bushels on an evening in a mad rush to beat a hard frost.
      But all the above is tuned to NE MN, not southern MN, and subject to the wisdom of my mother’s beliefs.

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    1. Yes you do. I love the small ones, but that’s one reason when I harvest my potatoes I don’t just dig up the entire plant, but selectively harvest the ones that are just right for what I need at the moment. Eventually, you do have to dig the whole plant up, of course.

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