my workplace has been having some coffee drama.
for like, a year.
over the five years I’ve been working here, we have always had free-flowing coffee, on each floor of the building. all day, err day.
nothing new to see here. every company I’ve ever worked for has provided this. it’s always just-fine coffee…good enough to drink…and as I mentioned: free.
so I drank a lot of it.
in spite of all the swearing up and down that—to quote my Uncle Billy — “if it’s free, it’s for me!” and despite all of the astonishment I’d thrown at those who daily turned their noses up to the stuff, there was recently a point in time I must Memorex: the point wherein I was no longer able to do it.
the day finally came. I was drinking it because it was free, warm, and freshish. and because, tiredness. but I was no longer enjoying the stuff.
okay: it was beginning to disgust me.
this is quite telling about the level of nast we’re talking about here. I’ll drink practically any coffee. which is also why I ran into an Internet-quiz-identity-crisis upon reading this during one of my writing-research-turned-reading-worm-hole sessions.
this flexibility creates an unintended air of mystery to my existence. an unanswerable, basic question hangs in the air above me, threatening to turn the very intimacy between my loved ones and I into something we only perceived. I mean, my people ought to know how I take my coffee forcryingoutloud.
the cool thing for me to do? agree—shrug off my mysterious ways. but that’s not what this blog here is all about. idk what this blog here is all about, but it sure as heck isn’t about dishonesty. no time for any of that. just know: all I’m after is the path of least resistance to feed my continuous, desperate need for .
I’ll drink any of it black if it’s high-quality…or if it’s at least tasty. or if it’s cold enough outside (or wherever it is that I am suffering through some portion of life to be relying on coffee, for heat). same for the common situation wherein there isn’t any lactose-free creamer available. and speaking of “creamer” — that’s second to any form of lactose-free milk (Lactaid milk, almond or soy milk, cashew milk, etc.). and all of those options can even be replaced by a scoop of any form of lactose-free, vanilla ice cream. cuz — as one day down the ManRepeller rabbit hole explained — I’m a crazy, undiscriminating Peter Pan.
I can’t say what exactly caused the sudden disgust with the office coffee.
maybe it was the more-grinds-than-drinkable-liquid ratio that the (overflowing-mess-of-a) pot was giving out. maybe it was the gnarly coffee carafes that are “cleaned” daily with a splash/rinse of luke-warm water. or, maybe after 22 consecutive years of daily coffee consumption, my snobbery taste buds tuned in; they had become more discerning. or(!) maybe this is how Science finally knows how long it takes after quitting smoking for one’s coffee palette to heal completely (6.5 years) and get back to functioning as that of a non-smoker. (you’re welcome, Science.)
or, maybe we were, actually, drinking Seattle’s Worst.
at home I am swimming in coffee-preparation choices. I’m pampered by aNespresso machine and its range of brew strengths and sizes, roasts, and aromatic flavors—plus hot and cold milk-frothing, which doubles the drinks from this one source alone. without any of those luxurious concoctions, I’m choosing between the stove-top percolator, the regular pot of drip brew, and (as of this past summer) homemade batches of cold brew. it is special to have this many delicious options on my coffee menu.
too bad I spend more time at my office than I spend at home. the coffee situation—being ideal for the coffee-loving worker-bee—ought to be reversed. but ideal, this is not.
my department tried, over the past year, to bolster the options. we decided to keep our necessary caffeinating just a notch above “necessity,” where “enjoyable” resides.
we started a Coffee Club when an intern generously donated a Keurig machine. $10 every few weeks bought members full access to K-cups in a variety of intensities and flavors. and then, the Keurig disappeared.
really. nobody knew where it was. no one was asked to move it, remove it, or do anything with it whatsoever.
back to the sludge.
so I started bringing in some stuff to flavor the heck out of the coffee. almond creamer. soy creamer. coconut creamer.
yet again, we were back to the sludge. or, so we thought. we thought we had the awful coffee left to fall back on, at the very least.
and then this started happening. regularly:
enough was enough. I couldn’t continue to leave that much of my day up to chance any more. I purchased a french press to keep with me at the office.
so I grind beans weekly, and brew fresh coffee daily, which I drink with my own stash of Lactaid milk, always on hand. no more of this unreliable coffee situation. no more reliably awful coffee. just a perfect cup, every time.