Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Best Cup of Coffee

Or rather...

Best Cup of Coffee... NOT!

Aside from the Frosticino at Wendy's which is DELICIOUS, I've only had coffee three times in my life.

When I was about 6, a neighbor was babysitting me, and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee before I went to bed. Not knowing exactly what that was, I replied that I did, and she made me what I think was a nice mugful, complete with plenty of sugar and cream.

I'm assuming it was decaf because I don't remember being agitated or not being able to sleep, but I do vaguely remember her mentioning it to my parents when they came to pick me up and them tripping over themselves assuring her it was OK because she didn't know. Fortunately I had my baptism 2 years later to wash this grievous sin away!

Then when I was 15, I went on a weekend senior adventure for scouts. We arrived into the base camp fairly late at night, and after pitching a tent for myself and my buddy, proceeded to brew myself a cup of Rooibos Tea (South African Red Tea) - which is thankfully excluded from the Mormon prohibition on tea and coffee (In case you were wondering about the reasons behind the sin and the first cup.) Once brewed I dumped in 3 bags of coffee creamer and sugar and then proceeded to drink one of the worst tasting cups of Rooibos I have ever had.

I assumed the creamer was bad, or something until my buddy asked early then next day, who'd had the coffee the night before...

Turns out that while hastily packing for the trip, I'd mistakenly grabbed three packets of Ciro coffee instead - and if I remember right, it was some kind of extra strength blend.

Did I mention as well that I didn't sleep much that night either?

So that concludes my tale on the first 2 cups...

When I first began drifting from the faith a year or two back, my sweet wife asked when I was going to start drinking coffee. I've been a pretty solid tea drinker for the past couple of years - mostly green, due to it's anti-inflammatory properties among others, and at the time, I assured her that I had enough vices.

However, walking through Walmart on Friday, I walked by the coffee section, and the wonderful aroma of coffee beans fills my nostrils. Coffee, aside from being a cheap source of caffeine, also has a number of excellent anti-oxidants in it, and is likely better for me than RockStar energy drinks, plus it just sounded good. So I grabbed a small packet...

Arriving home, I nuked myself an extra hot cup of water, and then proceeded to add 2 teaspoons of the aromatic granules to the cup.

It smelt really strong. A combination of the smells I remember from my days brewing coffee at McDonalds and the stale smokey smell of the lounge at a truck stock.

As I mixed and mixed, I also noticed that the granules weren't dissolving...

In an rookie mistake, I'd figured that ground coffee was instant coffee. DOH!

So after searching on the internet and finding out a whole bunch about various brewing devices and methods of tasting coffee, I returned with a second mug, and a clean dish towel. Using the towel, I strained the coffee into the second mug, washed the first and then poured the now granule free blend, back into the first mug. The first had some sentimental significance, and I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

2 teaspoons of sugar, and a dash of milk and I sat down to enjoy my first knowingly ingested cup of coffee.

It actually wasn't too bad. I chose the mix flavored with cinnamon and hazelnut, and while I couldn't taste either flavor it was pleasant.

I'm not sure if I could become a regular drinker, at least not right now, and I also think that if I do want to invest further time into the practice, that an investment in a french press or coffee machine, might be something I would need to do.


  1. last month my mother-in-law got me a french press and a bunch of different coffees (seriously, she must have spent 500 dollars just on coffee - she got me forty-something big bags of every different kind of whole bean coffee sold in the store). I had all these plans to kick the caffeine habit until the holidays. now i'm grinding and boiling and drinking like nobody's business. i've never drunk so much coffee. it's the drug of choice for me, i tellya.

    as an aside, my devout mormon grandma had a coffee maker on her counter in provo utah since i was a baby and indulged every night. we drank coffee together and i smoked cigarettes at her house without an ounce of shame, in full view of bishops, home teachers and many other unannounced visitors. she would joke that 'it's prescription' when asked. of course, she lived in a huge house on a hill, in a ward full of college professors. it would probably have broken the congregational budget to offend the woman.

  2. So if I were to pursue this, would you recommend the coffee maker, or the french press?

  3. Coffee... expert, no, but addict, maybe... (I'm sure Mormon missionaries avoid my house because they can smell coffee beans from the street!).

    There IS now a good instant coffee from Starbuck's called Via. Comes in little pouches... get the MEDIUM roast, not the strong. It's a bit pricey, but something to try before shelling out the big bucks on a coffee maker.

    Coffee is quite a comfort drink, so make sure you want to go down this wanton path, lol... the addiction is quick.

    ; )

  4. Thanks Clink! I'll have to look into that.

    That smell is intoxicating though... My cubicle is right near our office kitchen, and I am greeted by it every morning... Mmmmmmmmm!

  5. O dear, get yourself a decent Italian espresso machine and have a proper coffee. Don’t bother with any other version, even the French-Press stuff is, well, not proper coffee. DO NOT drink drip filtered coffee, and NEVER drink instant. Or, ignore me, I’m just a coffee snob.

  6. a french press is great if you want a smaller amount of better coffee. you can stash in the cupboard if the judgmental types are going to visit. get a grinder and a bag of whole beans. add boiling water, splenda and cream if you like that and hit it.

  7. My sweet actively attending Mormon husband bought me a programmable coffee grinder/maker for Christmas. I started drinking coffee again for the first time since I joined the Church 10 years ago. How easily I took up the habit again ;-) Now that same husband makes me a pot every morning, to be waiting for me when I get up. A fresh pot of coffee from freshly ground beans... mmmm, sweet intoxication.

    I also got an espresso maker for Christmas, and about 100 pods from various companies, but I haven't used it yet.

    I am a coffee lover, but not a coffee snob.

    I also second the suggestion on Starbucks Via, I have found that to be the best instant stuff out there (if you have to go the instant route).

    I think I will have to go refill my mug now...

  8. Oh, and I also love Roobios tea (and I probably just slaughtered that spelling).

  9. Thanks Folks - all excellent bits of advice from the instant Starbucks blend, to those on being the ultimate coffee snob. I think I may have coffee snob tendencies, so we'll see where this all ends up.

    And on the rooibos Ma'am C... Close - really close! If it helps, Rooi from the Afrikaans (Dutch) meaning Red and bos from the same language meaning bush. Red Bush Tea, or as a fairly significant portion of South Africans call it 'Bush Tea'.

  10. I hope what I have to say is taken in the right spirit...the spirit in which it is given. Being devout LDS, I am concerned, and I just canno not comment after reading this blog and the comments. Someone mentioned a devout Mormon Grandma indulging in coffee every night. Truly, a devout Mormon would not drink coffee at all. The Word of Wisdom is a basic tenet of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the last days.

    Is drinking coffee worth not being worthy to hold a temple recommend? Is it worth not being worthy to enter the House of the Lord?

    You don't know what you're missing.

    My advice would be to ditch the coffee all together and come back to church and let the Bisop help get ready to attend the Temple. This is what your Father in Heaven would have you do as well.

  11. Well Ms.YodaSmith, I definitely appreciate your comment, and I know more than you might think I do, about the desires and feelings which motivated you to comment. I do really appreciate your intent though.

    I know what I'm missing, but I also know what full activity in the Church has done to my family as well. There have been nights spent in tears, pleading with God for answers to the questions I've had, and the result of those prayers and many hours spent studying the scriptures are what have led me to the place I now find myself.

    I know the prevailing thought amongst LDS faithful is that I must have arrived here either as a result of sin, or in order to justify sin in the future, but I can assure you that it is neither.

    I have very solid reasons for my current belief system, or lack thereof, but I also make a very concerted effort not to discuss these with faithful members such as yourself, because of the effect they have. I tried to discuss it with my parents some years ago, and their complete dismissal of my concerns and threats about my future were a primary motivator for this blog. Of course when then discovered it, what ensued was a rather vile and viscous attack on my personal character and on that of my wife and her family. We haven't spoken since, and quite frankly at this point, I would rather my children not have contact with them, because of their actions. Both sad and regrettable that God's true Church would be the reason given for such behavior, but it is what it is.

    I could go on and on, but I doubt it would result in anything positive for either of us.

    The short version of a rather long story is, while I appreciate your beliefs and commend you for them, they are not beliefs which I can accept any longer for myself or my family.

    I hope you don't take offense at that, as none is intended.

  12. Well, whatever happened with your parents was obviously difficult, and unfortunate. It sounds that there was some harsh judgement (to say the least) on your parents' part. I'm sorry to hear that. What you described should not have happened--no matter what you told them, or the situation.

    I hope you weren't offended by my comment--I only wanted to help. I have 3 siblings who are not completely faithful and so I want to help when I hear of others who are not "active" because I love the gospel so much and it brings me joy.

    I'm not offended at all. I just feel sad about your situation between your family and your parents, and how that apparently has affected your and your family's life. It's sad.

    All the very best to you and your family.