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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

That morning cup of coffee


I can't really remember when I drank my first cup of coffee, but I knew I was destined to pick up that habit because it was the thing to do.  I remember  during my summer job with the Texas Highway Department at being amazed of how much coffee that the old timers would consumed.  They would come in an hour before everyone else(I was told), make coffee and drank the first cup, even though they brought a full giant thermos of coffee from their house.  We would always stop  at a store on the way to the job where the old timer would purchase a cup of coffee.  It wasn't until the first break at around 10:00AM when the old timer would drink his first cup of coffee from his thermos.  I don't know how many cups those thermoses  held but the old timer would take his last cup on the way back to the shop.  I must've picked up my coffee drinking habits back then because how can anyone be around so much coffee drinking and not pick up the habit? 

I do remember the early on that I used to like one teaspoon sugar in my coffee with nothing else but that soon changed.  I remembered my trainer asking me if I wanted him to bring me back a cup of coffee when he went to get his.  I said sure" one teaspoon of sugar please" I didn't pay much attention, but I bet he wasn't listening.  When he came back and handed me my cup of coffee, I took a sip and immediately noticed that it was bitter, so I asked him if I could go to the back and get some sugar.  He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was not getting paid to go to the back to get sugar. He also said he drinks his black, and he won't be wasting  his time putting sugar and cream and all the unnecessary things into a cup of coffee.  Needless to say, I started drinking my coffee black and still do today.  My old trainer is not around anymore, but I wondered what he thought about lattes and cappuccinos?

We bought a Keurig brewing system(coffee pot) several years ago because my wife likes the flavored coffee, and I still like the strongest Starbuck-like coffee available, and Folgers and Maxwell House weren't cutting it.   My wife tells me that the K- cups(single cups) for the Keurig are pretty expensive, so she'll occasionally buy the 1-pound bag of Starbucks to use.  I see where  24 k-cups are selling for $15 on line, but I know  we can get them cheaper than that.

My oldest swears by her first cup of coffee, but my other two children don't drink coffee or alcohol.  The chain has been broken, but it will prop up somewhere because coffee is as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.

Would you miss your morning cup of coffee or alternate caffeine supply?  Do you remember your first cup?


Rebecca said...

My favorite person in the world, my grandmother, drank coffee each morning. From the time I was very small I associated the smell of coffee with the warmth of her house. She ate coffee candy, coffee ice-cream, and together we "had coffee" using my tea set.

I have challenged myself to go without coffee several times throughout my life, but I think those times were when I was going through some type of insanity or schizophrenia...

I love my morning cups of coffee!

The only thing I don't like is how I have to stay close to the little girls room for the first few hours after having my first cup. That's getting pretty inconvenient! Try hiking up Baldy with a full bladder. =P

Rebecca said...

Baldy = the big hill in Garner State Park.

Edith Ann said...

I was raised by hot tea drinkers, and never acquired a tatse for coffee. I do love the smell of coffee and I love the section of Costco where they are roasting the bean and grinding them. It smells delicious.

I will stick with a cup of robust Tazo 'Awake' or my Irish Breakfast tea for now. I gone without coffee all this time, I'd hate to change now!

By the way, my son LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his Keurig coffee maker. He just fills the little cup with his own coffee. He's not too much into the flavored coffees.

Rebecca said...

Edith, I love teas also. One of my favorites is rose pedal tea and Earl Grey tea. Lots of cream and sugar. I also love the hazelnut and french vanilla flavored teas...

I have a saying that Earl Gray is a gentleman compared to Joe. ;)



Rebecca said...

Grey oooops, my sister's last name is Gray. She's real nice, too.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Hey, Rebecca - everyone needs a "Touch of Grey", right? ;)

OK, seriously, my parents did not drink coffee. I was not raised around it, except at my grandparent's (occasionally, maternal grandma would have a cup, grandpa was an iced tea drinker, and nothing else) or my nannie's (great-grandma). Nannie would always dunk toast in her coffee. I thought because she did it, I should too so whenever I would visit her, I would get to feel grown-up and have toast and coffee with her.

I didn't become a serious coffee consumer until I entered the medical field and started my young career taking call several times a week. Lo and behold, I discovered the wonders of coffee. After all, the hospital always had a pot a-brewin' and nothing will wake you up when you've been called out at 2 a.m. like a cup of joe.

I remember when I was younger, my best friend who lived down the street was a very "late in life" baby, and her father was actually already retired and her mother working toward retirement by the time we were in junior high. Her mother was a waitress, one of the best, and she always worked the night shift wherever she happened to be waitressing. I remember when I would spend the night with my friend, her mother would come home in the mornings, dump out all her change on the table and put on a pot of coffee for her husband. It always woke me up, the loud sound of that change, and the smell of the coffee, but in a good, comforting way. I will always associate nickels and quarters clanging on the table and the smell of coffee with those wonderful years and my sweet friend and her beautiful parents.

Nearly everyone I know in the medical field is absolutely addicted to coffee and I still remember how so many of my former co-workers at various hospitals would take their coffee. We would do each other the favor of preparing one anothers' coffee if we couldn't tear ourselves away from the tests we were running, and I can close my eyes and recite who took what in their cuppa.

There was one particularly charming gentleman I worked with in Houston, of Irish descent, who quite resembled a Leprechaun. He was short, with a white beard and mustache, white hair, and one of the most interesting characters I have ever known. Anyhoo, he was once in the Navy and would let his pot of coffee sit on the burner at work all day, and when it was burnt sludge, then he would finally deem it fit to drink. THAT was some coffee that I just couldn't stomach, but I sure do think of him when I have strong coffee.

I like mine with Splenda and coffee mate, or cream, and let me tell you, I cannot do without my joe. Caffeine is the only vice I have left, and I refuse to give it up!

So, I've rambled enough, but what a great blog, Mike. I've really enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Enjoy your cuppa.

Rebecca said...

(I meant rose PETAL tea.)

Edith Ann said...

Nice comment, Sugar! Sweet memory of your friend.

Rebecca, some of the most wonderful tea I've ever enjoyed was one called Rose Congrou that a friend brought me from Nova Scotia. It was wonderful. It had real rose petals in it, pink ones. When brewed, it tasted like a rose smells. (you figure that out) I like Earl, too, and Lady Grey is quite delightful also. All I require in my tea is that it IS tea. That Celestial Seasonsings stuff is not tea..

Sorry, Mike about the tea stuff on your coffee blog...

Mike said...

I enjoyed your stories that reminded me that although we might be different in some ways;we are alike in so many other ways.

The part where you mentioned knowing what ever one took in their coffee brings back a lot of memories but there was one time when someone tried to break that tradition. For years, everyone would take turns, at one time or another, brewing coffee for the group. It was 4 scoops of coffee, one decanter of water, and press the on switch. At the end of the day, and someone would voluntarily clean up the break room, coffee pot, coffee cups, etc.. When we were lucky enough to have new hires; they did it until they got it right(about a year)...:-) In in my last year, I was sitting in the break room with some of my fellow coworkers, when a trainer was trying to tell a new hire how to make coffee. We then heard the trainees say" I don't drink the crab nor will I make it for clean up after someone." A small thing like that stunned us. I told my friends that it was a good time for me to leave because things we're not going to be like they used to. That was so true, the workplace became more businesslike with a less cohesive group.

I did work with a person that was jokingly identified as a caffeine abuser. He was also an ex- navy man, we could always tell where he was because his large cup with the word " Navy" was in the vicinity of his current whereabouts. I remember when he was admitted to the hospital because he forgot to take his meds for a couple days. We went to see him as a group, and someone told the nurse to fill up an IV bag with coffee for him.

Mike said...

I knew you loved your cup coffee because I remember a couple times when you posted " the coffee made me do it"..:-)

You left out coffee cake but I don't think that's one specific kind of cake.

Mike said...

Your tea stories are interesting; I did know there were so many blends. I thought it was all Lipton Tea. I think I'll pick up a package of tea that you mentioned and introduce it to my extended family. We're always in competition to bring new foods and drinks to an occasion.

I can only remember a few times where I drank hot tea. It was always when my mother made it. I used to take mine with lemon and teaspoon of sugar but today I would substitute the sugar with artificial sweetener.

Edith Ann said...

Mike--tea is really fascinating to read about. The grading of the leaves, where the best climate is, and so on. When you go to a store like Rice Market in Houston, and see the array of teas, it is just amazing. I have heard that Spec's here has a vast assortment, but I have never been in Spec's. (Remember--I am the one who does not shop.)

Oh, and when I am in Austin, my son makes my cup of hot tea in his Keurig coffee maker. Delish, but my $9.99 Hot Pot heats the water just fine!

Rebecca--At H-E-B on Rio Grande, I bought a canister of 22 tea bags of Zhena's Gypsy Tea "Gypsy Love". Contains: Organic, Fair-Trade Indian and Sri Lankan Black Tea and Sweet Rose Petals. It smells like roses!