A few days ago I told my son I feel mildly shitty at all times. This is a true statement. And I suspect it’s tied to the fact that I’m having a constant allergic reaction to something. It’s been going on for a month, or possibly six weeks. There’s something happening outside that’s messing with me, man. My dad says ragweed, and what in the everlasting hell is ragweed? Whatever it is makes me feel slightly off, all the time. And I’m not a fan of slightly off. Also, there’s a lot of sneezing and snot production. None of it improves my day.
But my son thinks I feel bad because I drink too much coffee. “You have, like, thirty cups a day,” he told me. That’s a gross exaggeration, I responded. I rarely have more than 25.
That was a joke. But I generally do drink one full pot in the morning, and eat nothing until mid-afternoon. Probably not good, right? But I’ve been doing it for decades. I get up, hope there’s at least one cup left from Toney’s earlier coffee session, and start a new pot a-brewin’. Then, over the next few hours, I disappear that bastard. By the time I leave for work I’m fairly jacked, and find myself shouting along to AC/DC or Thin Lizzy while navigating the Devil’s Parkway.
However, once I’m done, I’m done. I’m not one of those people who seemingly live on coffee. I’ve encountered folks who guzzle great tankards of the stuff deep into the night. They swig the java ’round the clock. “Awww, caffeine doesn’t affect me…” they say, with misplaced pride. Their central nervous systems are likely burned-out beyond repair. Good god. They’re usually smokers, too.
And I just like regular coffee, with a splash of milk. No flavorings, or any of that nonsense. I see people at Sheetz, or places like that, and it often looks like they’re conducting a science experiment. There’s all sorts of measuring and stirring and sipping and blowing. I think some of them break out an eyedropper and a rack of test tubes. I don’t understand. These are folks who will tell you they LOVE coffee, but go to great lengths to cover up any last remnant of coffee flavor. I pour mine in a cup, and throw in some milk. And I walk away. No stirring, or holding it up to the light, or dabbing a little behind my ears.
I started on the coffee habit when I was 20 or 21. Back then it wasn’t a hip fashion accessory, like it is now. It was basically an old people thing. When Steve saw me drinking a cup for the first time, he said, “What’s next? Chesterfield Kings?” Now 11 year olds are drinking it. Right? The first time I tasted the stuff was at my grandparents’ house. They always had a percolator going, and I was intrigued. My grandmother let me have a hit off of hers, and it was revolting. It tasted like liquefied dirt. Why?? Why would somebody willingly drink something like that, when chocolate milk is available? Ten or fifteen years later I was fully-invested.
My favorite for home brew: Eight O’Clock or Dunkin Donuts or Costco (Kirkland?) store brand.
My favorite at a chain: Panera. It’s the best, in my opinion. I can drink Starbucks, and pretty much any other kind of fancy-ass brew, as long as it’s uncomplicated and “normal.” Ya know? But, until I find something better, Panera will always be my first choice. It’s excellent.
Surprisingly bad coffee at a chain: Waffle House. You’d think they’d have it nailed, but their brew is acidic and unpleasant. Generally, speaking. I think you could use it to clean grout, and it’ll do a number on your digestive system, too. Have a couple of cups there, and within twenty minutes you’ll be transformed into a high-caliber diarrhea cannon. Seriously. You might want to run a length of packing tape around the opening between the toilet seat and the bowl before sitting down. The size of the splatter pattern will be astonishing.
What’s your relationship with coffee? How much do you down on a daily basis? What age did you start the habit? Do you remember the first time you tasted the stuff? If you don’t drink it, do you have something else? One of my uncles guzzles Pepsi in the morning, for the caffeine. Blecch. What about you? Anything? Use the comments link.
Also, if you have any opinions on favorite coffees for home brew, and best/worst at a chain, I’m interested in that, as well.
I hope you guys have yourselves a great weekend.
I’ll be back on Monday.
Now playing in the bunker
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Started at around sixteen, all in by eighteen. I have a full pot, minus my wife’s one cup in the morning, then I’m usually done for the day. I’m writing this as I roast a batch of coffee, if that says anything.
Joe T. says
Started drinking coffee at age 12 or 13 (I know, weird). I have a tankard in the morning, then nothing the rest of the day. That is unless I go out for a nice dinner, then I always enjoy a cup as a nightcap.
Greg Wildt says
About a year and a half ago, I started eating a tomato for breakfast every morning. There was so much juice in it, that I quit brewing my usual Maxwell House in the Mr. Coffee machine, and just had a glass of water. Strange thing is, I haven’t missed the coffee, and have been coffee free since then, and it never really bothered me. I thought I’d really miss it, but I didn’t. Who knew! I operate fine without the caffeine. Never thought that would happen! Still eat a tomato a day.
I must know how you eat this tomato every morning. Do you slice it and eat it with a fork and knife, or do you eat it like an apple. Not sure why I need to know, but I do.
Greg Wildt says
I cut four thick slices, salt and pepper them, then cover each slice with a slice of American cheese, and nuke the plate for 2 and a half minutes, which melts the cheese. The tomato ends up warm, and the liquid is released. I cut each slice into fourths, and eat each fourth, one at a time. Delicious! I slurp up the remaining liquid after I eat the tomatoes, and that’s the best part!
Did anyone else cringe while reading this??
Cringe?! Full on seizure…
Greg Wildt says
I put each slice on a luncheon sized plate, so that they cover the plate, so you’re looking down at 4 tomato slices. Sorry I missed the presentation!
Just a note on the difference between truck-shipped, store-purchased tomatoes and the kind from the back yard. We’re about halfway through tomato harvesting season in the Great Pacific Northwest, and for a month or so, I’ve been getting a bucket of tomatoes a day from my five tomato plants. This will start to taper off if the rain ever comes, but I’ll get a few in October.
I grow primarily cherry or mid-sized tomatoes because of the relatively short growing season here: we have damp Junes, warm-dry Julys, hot-dry Augusts, and warm-slightly damp Septembers. This year, since June 1, we’ve had two days of precip, 18 days above 90, and 42 days above 80, so I could probably have grown watermelon-sized tomatoes successfully.
In any case, the difference in taste between the pungently sweet, slightly acidic tomatoes from the back yard, and the barely perceptible taste of anything that has spent days on a cooling truck is dramatic. We have huge green salads every night, and I occasionally make a pasta salad featuring lots of tomatoes and freshly spit-roasted chicken cut in cubes. with peppers and olives and a dash of olive oil. I don’t grow the chicken.
But tomatoes: hell yeah.
Jerry in WV says
Started drinking coffee as a way to stay up for hours on end when I joined the USAF 35 years ago. Never even considered drinking it before then. I still drink about 4 cups a day, between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30. After that, it is mostly water for me. As for taste, I prefer Gevalia. Very smoooove!
I started drinking coffee when I was in the Navy. At the time, butts were 11 cents/pk (through sea stores) so daily performance relied heavily on regular caffeine/nicotine dosing. I kicked the butts the day I got out but still enjoy a couple of cups of joe in the morning. I avoid the fern bar coffee places because I don’t want to deal with the fancy beverage crowd and their ordering jargon.
I knew a nurse that smoked Chesterfields and drank black/bitter coffee at work. She left a strong butt breath contrail as she walked and was hard to talk to unkess you were upwind. Uniquely atrocious breath.
Jeff, constant, low-grade allergies WILL make you feel like crap. Like you’re just coming down with a cold. All. The. Time. Have you tried taking an otc medication, like Claritin? Since you have a Costco membership, go get their generic Claritin and take it once a day for a week. If it helps, wonderful, if it doesn’t, you’re only out $12. Might be worth it if you haven’t tried.
And Sumatra is my coffee. The best, any brand. 2 big mugs in the morning and I’m out.
I love a good cuppa cawfee. Black, nothing in it. Straight, no chaser. Although these days I’m almost exclusively drinking espresso at home. I use a roast called Big Trouble, mail-ordered from a place in North (or was it South?) Carolina. I’ll have two or three shots in the morning, and occasionally a 12-ounce coffee at work.
I started drinking coffee in earnest when I worked the early morning open-the-store shift at McDonald’s, back before the rise of the 24-hour fast food cycle.
Bad coffee is a wretched, miserable thing. And it’s so easy to make decent coffee: 1) keep the equipment clean; 2) use the right proportion of coffee to water. There’s more, but those are the big ones that many people and restaurants don’t do.
And finally, I don’t believe I’ve ever set foot in a Panera. Merry Friday to all, and to all a good night.
I like me some Brilliant Corners too. OCD detectives are lower on the list.
Jazz truly is America’s urban classical music. And I’m a sucker for a horn section – Duke Ellington, Tower of Power, whatever. If it sounds good, it is good.
The Qweezy Mark says
Started coffee in college but probably not fully invested until my professional career. I was always amazed that Joe T. was drinkin’ coffee so young. I remember that he hates white milk and swear one time he told me he poured coffee over his cereal. I could be mistaken, but…
Anything dark roast for me. Starbucks, 8 O’clock, Community. I find Seattle’s Best and Gevalia or any Starbucks Pike Place brews do not work for me.
Prefer to grind and brew at home. Very strong but lots of cream. Not as counter productive as it might seem.
I think I just sharted.
Joe T. says
I poured chocolate milk on my cereal, no coffee. BTW, coffee must be black.
Of course coffee must be black. God didn’t put coffee beans on a sugar cane, or a sugar beet for that matter. And cows don’t give coffee, so milk, cream or other dairy products need to stay far away from the hot, (or iced in the hot summer) black goodness.
The one exception is a Vietnamese delicacy called Ca Phe Sua Da. Have one next time you’re at your favorite pho joint.
I started drinking coffee around age 12. My parents always had a pot brewing, and didn’t care that I drank it.
I like the occasional flavored coffee, but generally opt for Community Coffee, 8 O’Clock, Cafe Bustelo, or Tim Horton’s.
I’m 51 years old and I don’t think I’ve ever had a cup of coffee in my life. My mom would drink it all the time and for some reason never could take to the smell or taste. Even coffee flavored ice cream makes me shiver. At Starbucks however I certainly do enjoy an nice chai tea latte instead. Always hot even in 100 degree weather – none of that iced BS.
When my daughter says “chai tea latte” she sounds like Mr. Howell. Kills me every time.
Coffee habit started in college, mostly as a way to feel ‘adult’ I think. Really got kicked up when I started working in a research lab – many pots a day were shared among my labmates and me on a daily basis.
Worst coffee ever on a routine basis – the swill that masqueraded as coffee at WUSF in the late ’80’s. Oh, it was awful. I still DRANK it, but ew. If there had been a coffee shop in the area I would have utilized it, but I don’t think such a thing existed. Never occurred to me to bring my own from home.
We drink Cafe Bustelo at home now – works just fine in the Bunn rig and makes a nicely vibrant cup o’ joe. Translates will into iced coffee too. Lately I’ve gotten off the daily ‘grind’ train, but a couple of times a week I lift a vat of the heavenly brew to my lips and savor the flavor (cream and a tiny bit of sugar).
My older son is just starting to drink coffee. He’s 22. I’m not ready for that level of grown-up yet.
We had an old percolator coffee maker when I was a teenager. It would sit on the stove & boil away. Every cup had a layer of grounds in the bottom which was digusting if you got a mouthful. So I always left the last quarter inch of coffee in the cup. To this day I just can’t make myself drink that last little bit, even though I know there’s no grounds, I just can’t do it. Some habits are hard to break.
I never really was into coffee until I was in my mid-30s. I only drink it until about 10 a.m. or so – then I don’t want it.
Rage against the Hoopla says
I have only drunk perhaps 2 cups of coffee in my 58 years on this earth. Never got the hang of it. Like your uncle, I’m addicted to my caffeine in the form of Pepsi; drink 3 or 4 a day. Can’t say that that is any worse for the body than coffee is.
I think some people are strangely immune to the effects of caffeine, but I agree, it has to do a number on a person’s central nervous system after a while. While I cannot attest to their coffee, the food at a Waffle House will create the same explosive diarrhea in the initiated. I think it must be an acquired thing – eat every day for a month at a Waffle House, and if you don’t die, you’ll probably be immune to the after effects of their food and drink!
I drink coffee until 11:00 am… constantly. At 11:00 am I switch to Coke Zero. I just had one of these bad boys installed in my poolhouse kitchen:
It’s like I’ve enslaved a Starbucks barista and hidden him in the cabinets so I don’t have to stare at random piercings while I wait for my latte.
the fuckin’ third.
That is a full-auto machine, which I thought had been banned in 1986. Mine is a semi-automatic: https://www.chriscoffee.com/Alexia-Evo-p/0970-a-cevo.htm
I grew up drinking coffee-flavored milk. Columbian coffee was the best and it made the milk taste sweet. Restaurant servers would do double-takes when I asked for them to pour a bit of coffee in my milk. I started drinking coffee sixteen years ago when I got married. My husband was and is a daily coffee drinker and I became one too. I’ve scaled back the flavored creamers to only just sweet cream. And, just recently, I’m only adding a splash of milk. I’ve come full circle – started with 80% milk and 20% coffee and now 80% coffee and 20% milk. Oh, it’s decaf now. Caffeine gives me the heebie-jeebies for a couple of hours after drinking and I do not like that feeling.
I’m a cold caffeine guy. I drink many Diet Cokes a day. Very many.
I can drink coffee if I can’t get anything cold, caffeinated, and carbonated but never developed a taste for coffee per se so I don’t seek it out.
And I like my coffee like I like my women-
wait for it….
with a little sugar and a splash of cream.
I’ll be here all week; don’t forget to tip your waitstaff.
I like my coffee like I like my women: Imported from Colombia with a kilo of blow hidden in a dark place.
Lew in Bama says
I didn’t start drinking coffee until my mid-30’s. Started with a Keurig and the little cups it comes with. I’ve since graduated to high grade coffee. Organic, free trade, and arrives on my doorstep every 6 weeks.
I drink it with hazelnut flavored creamer.
I make a pot every morning, just enough to fill my and the hubs travel cups, with some leftover for me to drink while my toddler takes an excruciatingly long time to eat his breakfast.
On the weekends, I make a little more, but never make more than a pot unless we have guests. I limit myself to two cups…how much coffee that equals depends on the size of the cups.
I cannot drink coffee after 2pm or there will be no sleep.
Cannot stand coffee the drink, or coffee flavour in food (icecream, cakes, chocolates, steak rub – wtf?). I feel off if I don’t have 2 big mugs of strong tea first thing in the morning. You think getting good coffee sucks, try getting good tea. You get a pot of warm (not boiling) water and then have to choose some sad teabag out of a wooden presentation box, most of which are fruit things not tea. And here’s some half and half to put in it. Urgh. I travel with my own tea now.
Yeah, that’s why we staged the Boston Coffee Party.
I notice that when you expound on your naïve culture, you revert to your native spelling. Not a bad thing, just a thing. I don’t drink coffee either, and was raised on tea and robbery. Would have been Scotch Whiskey had my Glaswegian grandfather lived a few years longer.
“Whiskey” 🙂 Don’t make your ancestors spin in their graves.
I thought the tantrum in Boston was over taxes on rum, but the locals had enough sense not to dump rum in the harbour? There *is* a limit and all that…
You’re right about the Whiskey. Grampa Jack would never call it “scotch” or “scotch whiskey”. I was just clarifying for those who don’t speak the Gaelic.
Also, I was referring to your “native” culture, not your “naïve” culture. Spellcheck likes both, but I’m not naïve enough to refer to a millennium that includes Shakespeare, Newton and Churchill as “naïve”. You might use three different cats, but I don’t know any cricket players. I suppose my fourth name would have been John Mayall.
I try to use the language of who I’m talking to, I try to use American English and American spelling here, revert to British English there. It gets increasingly mixed up though, I forget which is which sometimes now. A few superfluous “u”‘s may slip in.
Although it would help if American English would pick a side and stick with it – you have armored brigades, but Under Armour clothing. Is it theatre or theater depending on the ticket price?
And don’t get me started on Ye Olde Shoppes (built in 1985) 🙂
A theater shows movies, or fillums. You go to a theatre to see a play.
After extensive research, here’s a rough guide to theatre/theater:
1) If you have one or more vinyl or CD Vera Lynn albums, use theatre for anyplace people gather to watch a performance, including strip clubs.
2) If you’re an American who still possesses his official fraternity tie or her official sorority scarf, use theatre or whatever pretentious spelling you want, but stay away from strip clubs. They don’t want you.
3) If you’re Canadian and miss bar-hopping with Margaret Trudeau, use theatre and hang out in strip clubs.
4) If you’re an American who still possesses her official fraternity underwear, use theater and get a-movin’. You’re next on the main stage.
5) With those few exceptions, use theatre if you’re British and theater if you’re American. Use theatre if you’re in the British Commonwealth and opposed Brexit; use any fucking word you want if you favoured Brexit.
I hope this was helpful, but it seems unlikely.
I started with kiddy coffee. I was 4 or 5. The neighbor lady would come over for coffee every morning, I’d sit on her lap while she and mom blabbed.
We have the fancy pants grind, press, brew machine but put 8 o’clock in it.
2 cups and I’m done.
Coming from European stock, I was drinking coffee regularly by the end of grade school. One of my grampas prefered drinks on the farm was cold coffee (black). Thats probably my first go at coffee, I liked it, and to this day I still put the leftover coffee into the fridge for later consumption.
Jeff, recent study says at least 4 cups a day is good for you.
Yeah, let’s be careful here. The study (it was one study with a ten year duration (a little short). The conclusion actually said that UP TO 4 cups was not damaging in ten years, not “at least 4 cups”. The headline in USA Today, which I do not blame on the study, was, “Study: Drinking four cups of coffee daily lowers risk of death”. Man, I haven’t had a cup in over 20 years, but if joe reduces my chance of death by even one percent, I’m going for it. Straight, no chaser.
Fat Dave says
Can’t touch the stuff. Caffeine tears me up worse than alcohol. Maybe a soda on mornings where I’m running slow, but otherwise, I avoid all caffeinated drinks.
Coffee is crap. It tastes like boiled sticks and dirt.
I worked in a coffee factory for a few weeks in Port Allen, LA. We could drink free company coffee on our 15 minute breaks. I did not partake.
Why isn’t there drive through candy? Like it doesn’t just have to be candy, but if I want a snickers then the Pump-n-Run should have drive up vending machines.
Maybe not even that. Just put a candy rack at McDonalds or something.
“Welcome to McDonalds blah blah blah.”
“Yeah, I want six Big Mac’s”
“That’s six Big Mac for Mr. McFatass. Anything else?”
“Gimme a Butterfinger too.”
“Okay, your total is too much money for this shit, please pull up to the second window.”
And I get my dang Butterfinger without having to go to frickin’ Target to do so.
I love the immediate effects of coffee, but I don’t drink it. It’s great for a few days, but then addiction sets in and I have to drink more and more just to keep up. By the time it gets to that point, in the evenings I am hateful as all hell. I meet my caffeine needs with Coke Zero or sometimes tea, which for some reason don’t have that effect on me. I guess there is something else at play in coffee in addition to the caffeine.
Beer Richards says
You’ll feel much much better if you cut down carbs & lift weights a couple times a week. Surely your blood sugar is all over the place. And yeah, cut back on coffee with all that milk/sugar in it. Use real cream instead dummy. Not that difficult. Feel great all day for a few minutes of tweaks that you will adapt to. Man up. Also, your blogs are phenomenal. Thank you fucker.
I was started on coffee as a young lad, by my grandma. Who absolutely would not abide contaminating of cup of fresh perked. She told me “You want warm milk with sugar in it? I’ll make you warm milk with sugar in it. You want coffee, drink it like it should be, the way it comes out of the pot (percolator, in those days)”. By the time I went into the army at the age of 17 I was more than experienced in the ways of black coffee. Now that I’ll be 62 at the end of this month I’ve cut back to 1/2 pot every night before I leave for work. At least until I retire in the foreseeable future. Then it’ll be 1/2 pot every morning while I check for new Surf Report updates.
Michael Narmour says
I’ll have one cup in the am on work days and probably 3 on weekends. Only in the morning though. I am always dumbfounded by the seemingly national infatuation with Starbucks. About twice the price of normal coffee and I have yet to find one variety that I consider remotely good. Same thing, to a lesser degree with Dunkin’ Donuts – at least theirs is reasonably priced. It may not be everyone’s favorite, but I find Wawa’s coffee to be the best of the chains in my area. Also a good variety.
At least 4 Tervis Tumblers worth with a little fake cream and green sweetener in the morning. Sometimes one more. Super hot til the last drop. I’m gonna die of esophageal cancer. Whatever brand, within reason, we had a coupon for that week brewed by the old faithful Mr. Coffee. Green Mountain Keurig ks at work. At lunch I stew 2 old school tea bags in my Tervis along with a shake of fake cream and pinch of pink sweetener. I leave the soggy tea bags in and my husband bitches every evening about having to fish them out. I pee all freaking day.
Black coffee for me since I was ten, but only on Sun. mornings while reading Sherlock Holmes stories. I later got a high tolerance and coffee wasn’t enough to keep me from dozin’ while stoned. Now in my old age I’ll have a cup or two max, but God strike me down if I ever order one of “those vanilla bullshit things.”
I drink about four big cups every morning. I like my coffee like i like my women, ground up and in the freezer, as they say. Olive Garden has shockingly good coffee. Try it sometime.
I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 5 years old in 1967. In 1966 I started kindergarten and it was afternoon session and there was no problem waking me up. But starting in February I was assigned to AM kindergarten. We lived with my grandparents and my great uncle lived across the street. he would stop by for coffee with his sister, my grand mom, every morning on his way to work. He, a WW2 Navy vet, saw me sitting at the table with my head resting on my arms trying to go back to sleep and said, “Fran give her a little coffee, that’ll get her going”. Every morning through 1970 I would have coffee. When my mom remarried and we moved out she didn’t believe me but Grandmom fessed up and my morning coffee continued.
I’ve never been an all day or all day and all night drinker, 98% of the time I am 3 cups when I get up and done for the day. Over the years my coffee preference had gotten stronger thanks to relatives and Good Eats Alton Brown. I like dark roast and french roast coffees.
Judy Swann says
My parents gave up sugar during the war so I grew up tasting unsweetened coffee and tea. Now I know that’s the way it should be. Two cups, black, in the morning, with very little conversation please.