Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 22 SOL # 2017 Dependence on coffee

Gramps added a little shake of salt to his coffee every morning. I didn't ask why. I didn't enjoy coffee back then. My love for coffee began around age 17, after graduation when I started working full time. Everyone working in the office had to take their turn at making the 55 cup pot of coffee. I didn't mind and working with all those coffee drinkers, I soon began drinking my share. 

It was a few years later that I began the daily habit of carrying a thermos full of homemade coffee. By then I was taking college classes to be a teacher and driving the 100 mile daily commute. This was long before any McDonalds coffee was available. 

Once I started teaching, wearing dress clothes, I noticed that coffee made me a slob. It seemed I would have a coffee stain nearly every day. I tried using the strong dishwashing liquid the cooks had in the kitchen to take out the stains. Nothing worked, only made the stain larger. Yet, I could not give up the coffee.

Every morning a few of us early arriving teachers would visit with the cooks in the kitchen and drink their coffee. The cooks would scurry around us preparing the noon meal. This was before breakfast was served at school. If the dessert was made, we might enjoy a bite with our coffee. On days we didn't have recess duty, we might stop back in for a coffee refill. Or for a brownie. On days when the food inspectors were present, the cooks would send word for everyone to avoid the kitchen. This could not happen today, for several reasons. Now cooks don't really cook, they prepare the prepackaged foods. Now breakfast is served and no one has time to visit. Now health inspections are much stricter, no one is allowed in the kitchen. 

When I became administrator, I purchased a small single serve coffee pod machine for my office. I thought I would not be wasting time, but now I see the time to visit with others might have been more valuable. And the coffee was not really very good. 

Since then I've worn out many Bunn coffee pots, a couple Keruigs and switched to French Press, Nespresso, or some pour over. The first time my son showed me how to make coffee using a French Press, I was amazed. I don't know why because that is similar to the way coffee was made by campfire before electric coffee pots.  It is very basic, I do love using the French Press. 

When we have time we make pour over coffee. When the Coffee Gods align, pour over makes a great cup of coffee. But you need a lot more than a coffee pot, water and coffee. You need a scale, a burr grinder, a special kettle with a long spout, a timer, a glass carafe, cone filter and freshly roasted coffee. Oh, and precision. 

I'm still searching for the perfect cup of coffee. I live in a rural area where there is no access to coffee shops.  I try on my own. Maybe I should add a dash of salt.


  1. Oh my gosh, I loved this post,Pat! It was very interesting traveling with you on your coffee journey and ending up with a dash of salt. It works...takes the bitterness out. We did it for awhile and then just quit. :) You are right...it's really hard to find a GOOD cup of coffee.

    1. Thank you Debbie! I thought it was much too long. But it was fun to write.