Tuesday, February 19, 2013

At the altar of Caffeina


As I have previously mentioned,I have a reputation when it comes to cooking, specifically that I'm not good at it. I am not going to be featured on "Worst Chefs in America" or anything like that, but I do have a limited repertoire of dishes, that mostly serve to cover the nights my husband, who is a superb chef, doesn't feel like cooking.

I do have one great culinary skill, however: I make an incredible pot of coffee. I take my coffee seriously. To me it represents comfort and hospitality, and maybe a little indulgence. After all, you don't need to live, but I wouldn't want to live without it. In fact I consider myself to be a priestess of the Goddess Caffeina. I used to have a little plaster office goddess figurine of her, holding forth a cup of coffee to the world. I no longer have it, but a friend recently drew this for me:
Caffeina by Tanglewood




I joined the cult of the Goddess Caffeina at an early age. My gateway was the cups of instant Sanka I used to make for my grandmother, who lived with us. In that age before microwaves, i used to run water till it got hot, stir in the Sanka then we would drop the little fizzy saccharine tablets in and drink our coffee. When I was 12 my grandmother moved to California to live with an aunt and I started drinking coffee with my parents, who were not drinking decaf. In those heedless days I could go into my high school cafeteria in the am and buy a Reese's cup and a cup of coffee every morning (it cost a grand total of 30¢). By the time I got to college I was a confirmed consumer of coffee and, when it wasn't available, Diet Coke.
When I got my first apartment a full size coffee pot was my first appliance purchase.

I also became a connoisseur of the coffee bean itself. When I was a kid my mom and dad had a wonderful coffee grinder that held a full pound of coffee bins. We would grind directly into the coffee scoop. The coffee was amazingly delicious and I acquired an abiding affection for Eight O'clock coffee. When I was first married I owned several coffee grinders, all of which were eventually hijacked by my household chef to serve as a spice grinder. So these days I bring it home in a ready to use format.

I am not the only devote of Caffeina. The amazing Mod Mom Beyond Indiedom created this video in her honor. Recently I took a great step forward in coffee decadence. I bought a Keurig.
I have wanted one for several years ever since I sampled the coffee at a friend's house, but couldn't justify the expense. Recently though they have become far more reasonable. There is no at coffee experience to compare, and I have a cappuccino maker. We have a nice Mr Coffee, which a timer (much appreciated at 4am on work days) but sometimes I want just one cup. And I want that cup to be awesome. Sometimes its about the quality more than the sheer effort of getting caffeinated to face the day. Also, once in awhile I deserve a treat. I believe Caffeina would approve.

32 comments:

  1. Mmm coffee. And I have the same issue...nkt a bad cook, albeit limited, but hubby is like a 5 star chef.

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    1. One time my husband went to his mother's when she had surgery, and after he'd been gone for a week my daughter sent her grandma a message saying, "Could you please send our daddy back, we're starving."

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  2. Mmm coffee. And I have the same issue...nkt a bad cook, albeit limited, but hubby is like a 5 star chef.

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    1. We consider it to be a perfect division of skills.

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  3. Me too, I'm addicted to coffee. I don't have a Keurig, but I do have a French Press and an individual cup-brewer. Sometimes you just need one cup. :)

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    1. For the longest time I had a beautiful little 1 cup Black and Decker. It survived at least 1/2 a dozen full size coffee makers. It was only because that one died that I could justify getting the Keurig, because as you said sometimes you need just one cup.

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  4. That picture your friend drew is wonderful.

    I love my morning coffee. So much so that I've got the boyfriend hooked on his drip coffee maker too. I'm going to need to get him a new one for father's day though - his is burning the coffee.

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    1. Thanks, I think he did a beautiful job.

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  5. I think I need a cup of coffee now. You know how I feel about coffee though. It is pivotal in life. :)

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    1. Worshipers of Caffeina, assemble at her altar!

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  6. Cute post. I wish I liked coffee. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell of it, but have just never been able to acquire the taste for it.

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    1. Thanks Crystal. I have found coffee and bacon are two things that people love the smell of even if they don't like the taste.

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  7. Oh yeah, coffee and me, we go way back. :)

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    1. I find a lot of us were early to the coffee mug.

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  8. Mmmm... this post smells so good... Loved it! And congrats on your promotion to High Proestess!

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  9. We got a Keurig as a gift when we got married a couple years ago, and we love it. And after reading this post, I'm pretty sure I'm due for a second cup right now.

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    1. Not only that but I am making an addict of my son, who has made a cup from it every day this week after school. He used to only drink it to wake up in the morning.

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  10. I loved your friend's drawing. Super cool!

    We splurged and bought that same Keurig a while back. It was a life-changing purchase. I think I'll go brew myself another cup right now.

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    1. In fact I need to get some decaff or low caff k-cups, because I want it in the evening when its way to late to be having the real thing.

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  11. I think a Keurig would be so much fun. My husband, the actual coffee drinker in our house, is a total killjoy. He likes to top his cup off repeatedly over the course of a morning, warming and letting it cool

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    1. I am like that first thing in the morning, when I just toss it back till my eyes snap open. That's why the Keurig could never be my only coffee maker. After I'm awake and can fully appreciate the cup of coffee on its own merits--then its time for the good stuff.

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  12. I've never been a coffee drinker. . .caffeine makes we achy. That said, I get the cultural addiction to coffee, and I'm glad that you get yours when you need it! :)

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    1. So many food favorites (and aversions) are related to more than just flavor: what we did or didnt get as kids, who we had it with first, how extravegant we are willing to be with our food and so on.

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  13. My grandmother used to drink Sanka too! Thinking about it now...it seems crazy and gross to drink that!!!!

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    1. Oh yes, expecially that instant stuff that was all anyone seemed to have back then.Good brewed decaf isnt that bad, really, but when I think about pouring the hot water out of the tap to make her coffee I think how much she must have loved me, the Sanka.

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  14. I didn't drink coffee until I was about 35. Now I can't start the day without it. We grind our beans as well, but that treat is saved for the weekends. I could easily join your coffee cult! :)

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  15. I have three kids. Coffee is my very best friend. For me it's just about getting caffeinated but I see your point about wanting some fancy brew every now and then!

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    1. Coffee is my best friend too. All my human best friends are coffee people also. We just seem to know where to find each other.

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  16. My husband doesn't drink coffee. More for me!

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    1. My husband drinks it in the morning just to get started (If you can call that watered down stuff he drinks coffee) then he switches to tea. He is just as picky about his teas as I am about coffee. The ice tea can only be made with a certain brand, and with hot tea he prefers certain other brands and flavors. My son drinks coffee, but since he's off to college in the fall I figure he's just aquiring essential survival skills. One he leaves the Keurig is all mine, so far the 14 yr old is an iced tea drinker only.

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