I am not a coffee drinker. Tim loves his morning coffee though. It's not morning with several cups of coffee for him. And different sorts of days might necessitate different amounts of the stuff! So I am familiar with the process of making a half way decent cup of the stuff. And honestly, Tim served in the Marine Corps, so half-way decent is all that truly is required. He appreciates the really good stuff, but never complains about the so-so kind. Thank goodness.
In our married life together, we had gone through numerous coffee machines for him. I think our first coffee maker, he might even have brought into the marriage. I certainly do not remember buying one back then, but perhaps I just don't recall. It was white - an unfortunate colour for something that stains - and I believe it was a Mr. Coffee. There was always bits of ground coffee on the counter top from where I dribbled it while scooping it into the paper filter. And the terror of running out of filters! NOOOOOO! I remember that it required filling the carafe with water from the sink, then pouring water from the carafe into the reservoir which, as it turns out, is a trickier process than you'd think. At least first thing in the morning. The machine itself was a bear to clean and like I said, over time it grew permanent stains from the coffee and made groaning noises when it worked. But I suppose the important part (for Tim at least) was that it worked!
When it finally gasped it's last, we moved on to a different, newer machine. Hamilton Beach maybe? It was black, I do remember that. Hurrah! If there were permanent stains I never noticed. It was quieter, still required a tricky water pouring to get it going that somehow ended up with water all over the countertop. And of course the coffee grounds that I always spilled still happened. But it worked for us for quite some time. I managed to break that carafe at least once, but it was easily replaced. Which made me feel better. Clearly I am not the only person who is a menace to a glass carafe. Tim seemed to be satisfied with the coffee that it made and that is always the most important part.
Somewhere along the line in Colorado we moved on to a Keurig coffee maker. Oh I do love those little pre-measured K-cups! Brilliant. It is far less messy and since the reservoir is easily removable, I can fill it directly from the water dispenser in the fridge! Oh my life is so much easier now! And my counter tops so much cleaner!
However, with our very first Keurig, we received a mixed box of K-cups of all sorts. Many different kinds of coffees, teas and cocoa. It was the cocoa that was the problem I think. The sugar in the mix gummed up with tubing inside the Keurig and suddenly no matter I did, no matter how hard the machine AND I tried, no coffee would come out. It took a panic stricken call to the Keurig help line, a flashlight and a paperclip to clean out the tubing. I then vowed to never use the Keurig for anything except coffee again.
The nice man on the Keurig helpline said that it would be fine as long as I ran multiple carafes of hot water through the lines after making cocoa to clean it. Humph. Easier to just never make cocoa with it frankly.
We are now on our third Keurig I think. It's a classy, stainless and black machine that has a permanent spot on the kitchen counter, always ready to deliver! I notice when we go to model homes that sometimes they have "coffee stations". That is a section of counter top that is dedicated to all things coffee, including a K-Cup carousel! Snazzy. We have a drawer. Literally a drawer in the kitchen which has nothing in it except K-Cups. It works.
Tim has flirted with other coffee delivery systems of course. We have an electric bean grinder. We even have some fancy arsed whole beans. I have to admit that even though I don't drink coffee, I do love the smell of freshly ground coffee beans. I'm not sure why we don't use it more. Lazy maybe? Or perhaps the noise so early in the morning?
We also have, somewhere in the pantry a French Press. That one took me a little longer to get the hang of. I am not an especially patient person and French Press coffee does require patience. Tim says it makes amazing coffee. I should make more of an effort to use it for him. At least on the weekends don't you think? I actually forgot that we had it until a few minutes ago while writing this. Shame on me.
I remember the coffee pot that my mom used to make my Dad's coffee. It was a percolator and it made the best sound. Kind of a popping noise. To a kid it was a riot. That coffee had a terrific fragrance too. My mom however, only drank Sanka. Freeze dried coffee crystals mixed with hot water. It smelled nasty. I cannot imagine that it tasted good.
I used to drink tea. I was a big tea drinker. I would make it by the pot. Real tea with real tea leaves where it had to steep for a bit before drinking it. But by the time I had three kids under the age of 3, there just was no time for that sort of indulgence. I moved on to teabags. There really and truly is a big difference in flavour between tea leaves and tea bags. But it's better than nothing. And in a frigid New England Winter, I would drink Cups and Cups of tea made with cheapo teabags all day long and then just before bed, sip a lovely cup of Earl Grey. Ahhhhhh, memories ;)
Now a good cup of hot cocoa, yeah, I can get behind that! Especially if it's the real deal made with hot milk and loaded with marshmallows. And if it's home made marshmallows, well then I am in heaven for sure. Oh I'll settle for Swiss Miss although it has a funny aftertaste. But if you toss enough marshmallows into it, you don't notice it any more. I use LOTS of marshmallows.
Actually most of the time, if I'm going for a hot drink, it's hot water. Yeah, I know. How Boring! But that's what I drink. If it's made with good water (some tap water is just plain nasty) and is boiled, not just heated, it's very nice. Warms me up from the inside out. And it has to be boiled water, not microwave boiled either. I don't know why it makes a difference, but it absolutely does. I used to have a real tea kettle. I've had lots of them over the years. Some whistled, some did not. Some died the ignoble death of being boiled dry. My bad. Others just got so dinged up over the years and moves that it was time to move on. Now I have an electric kettle and I love it. It's red which is reason enough, but it also works perfectly, no whistle required and shuts itself off so no chance of ruining it.
I've been hearing about the icey cold and snowy weather back on Colorado which prompted the thoughts on hot beverages. My Colorado friends are emailing me photos of their snowy yards and people bundled up in hats and coats and gloves. All of which somehow makes me think of hot toddies drunk in front of a roaring fire. Never had one of those. Toddies I mean, not fires. I've toasted myself up in front of countless fireplaces. Not sure what's even in a hot toddy. Hmmm. I have had hot apple cider though. With a cinnamon stick to stir it. Yummm.
Funny to think about cold weather/hot beverages when it's in the 80's and sunny outside. Oh well, I think I can suffer through it. Hah!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.