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My mom was (and still is) quite the coffee drinker. I remember once as a kid keeping track of her cups, and saying, "Mom, that's your nth cup of coffee today." "Blah, blah blah," she replied. (I can't remember what she replied.) However, I do recall that she let me try some, maybe a spoonful. Unlike beer, which didn't appeal to me at first taste, I liked coffee right away. Memory plays tricks on you and distorts the past, but I remember her drinking some outlandish number, like 12 or 14 cups that day. The number must in fact have been much lower. Tangentially speaking, I remember clearly that once at a Michigan / Michigan State football game in Ann Arbor the guy sitting next to me drank a six-pack of beer. I was astounded, since no one in my family was much of a drinker. My parents would split a beer.

Coffee is the miracle stimulant. Whatever damage you to do your liver drinking alkyhol the night before is reversed the next morning with coffee. And besides that, it makes you smarter, especially when taken with cigarettes.

In Japan coffee is hardly ubiquitous, but it is always available cold in a can. Japan has the most incredible (and convenient) convenience stores, which besides beer, have truly good food for sale. That, or from the even more ubiquitous vending machines, is where I got my morning cold coffee in a can.

In Spain, the coffee is always good, and always ground and made fresh to order with an expresso machine. I don't recall ever seeing a pot sitting on a burner getting nasty like it does here in our convenience stores and fast food restaurants. In Spain, even the cafeteria in the bus station will make you a coffee that would make Starbucks run and hide with shame. As far as I know, you can get it four ways: "solo" (a very small cup of black coffee, "cortado" (with a little bit of milk), "con leche" (more milk than coffee, and the milk is heated and slightly foamy.... when accompanied by toast with butter and orange marmalade, it is the best breakfast imaginable), and finally, "leche manchada," literally, "stained milk." Basically, warm milk stained with coffee.

"Flavored" coffees are an abomination, and a sure sign of the coming apocalypse. The fool who came up with the idea of polluting coffee with artificial hazelnut flavoring should be lashed.

As much as I like coffee, I don't drink that much. I use an Italian stove top expresso pot and I don't tend to be too particular about choosing the coffee. I like these coffeepots because there is no paper filter involved, so you get all the oils from the beans. It makes for a richer cup. I'm too lazy to grind it myself, but I do have a grinder if I feel like getting fancy. More than two cups a day and I can't sleep at night. Believe it or don't, but in the evening sometimes I fix myself an instant de-caf to drink as I do a puzzle or read.


Java Junky

"Please Flo, just one more coff a cuppy?!"

I miss the con leches of Key West. That was where I first learned the love of strong tasty potent bean juice!

December 2018



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