Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Mark's First Coffee (217.2)

Coffee LabsThanks to zercool_panem for the interesting question about when and why we started drinking coffee, and how we take it.

I've always liked the taste of coffee, and my parents used to give us spoonfuls in our milk, back when they drank coffee. They both stopped, and switched to tea and Postum. (Now that's a blast from the past! Roasted grain instant hot beverage, anyone?) My mom eventually missed coffee, and started drinking decaf when she was working full-time. She "needs" a freshly brewed cup of decaf every morning, but can't take caffeine. (She also keeps "real" coffee in the freezer for visitors, but brewed in her Black & Decker cup-at-a-time brewer, it's awful. I drink tea, or make a run to Coffee Labs.)

It probably wasn't until I was at camp, and either a staff trainee (CIT) or a counselor, that I started intentionally drinking cups of coffee. The camp cafeteria had what was, no doubt, awful coffee, and I put milk and sugar in it. I can recall drinking lots of sweetened tea on cold mornings, but at some point switched to coffee. This may have coincided with increased morning responsibilities beyond managing to wake up, shower, and shuffle to breakfast.

Timber Lake West cafeteriaI have clear memories of the dining hall at camp; the coffee urns were against the front wall to the left of the food line. I guess there must've been pitchers of water and "bug juice" on the tables, with urns up front for refilling them, but that's less clear. Speaking of clear, there were beige plastic tumblers for the hot and cold drinks. The same was true at the staff lounge, where I occasionally also drank coffee or tea, on cold or rainy evenings. Were there other options? I somehow remember a refrigerator being in there, but don't recall if there was anything to drink other than tap water.

I don't think I was really ever in the coffee habit at high school or at home. Then I got in the habit of drinking a cup of coffee daily at breakfast at Noyes Dining, the west campus dining hall at Cornell that was later called Jansen's. (The alums who endowed the building were Agnes and Jansen Noyes, and I guess first names came in vogue.) We made better coffee at KDR, but nothing as good as we have now. It was the responsibility of whoever was on "PD/WU," or evening phone duty followed by morning wake-up duty, to make the first pot of coffee and hot water in the morning.

After college I drank lots of coffee at work. IT, don'tcha know. I don't really have a clear recollection of there being a coffee pot at Baka. You'd think there must've been, right? Maybe Mickie or Tom had one next door. I actually think I didn't drink all that much coffee, except from time to time at the Corners Deli, until I got in the habit of going over to JJ's Cafe with Peter. Mid-afternoon coffee and oatmeal raisin cookies became a big habit.

Pourover RemeraThere was passable coffee at CCC and then at 120 Maple Ave, especially when one of the more premium office brews was added. That got taken away, and now I buy office "frac packs" of Community Coffee for our kitchen. (I'd spent as much stopping for a retail cup of coffee on the way to work every day as I do on a supply of coffee to share.)

At home, I sometimes use my Senseo pod brewer for a single cup, or use a pourover brewing method when I'm in the mood for a better cup, or know I'm making more than one. I have a four-cup brewer with a nice matching thermal carafe, and guinness_duck's old combo 10-cup brewer and espresso machine for bigger batches or for brewing espresso. I virtually never touch it.

I drink so much coffee, 2-4 cups a day at work and lots of refills if I go out to breakfast or brunch, that I should probably be hopelessly addicted and have major withdrawal symptoms if I don't drink any. But, I probably went from an average of three cups a day to a cup every three days over the week-and-a-half break, and often don't bother having coffee at home on the weekend. I may just not addict easily.

CappuccinoThese days I drink brewed coffee black, almost exclusively. If it's really awful, I might add milk and sugar. Also love espresso, especially after dinner, and I occasionally go for a cappuccino if I'm in the mood for something froofier. (France and Italy do some things right.) I really slipped into the cappuccino habit thanks to the free cappuccinos at several stations at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. I managed not to succumb to buying too many after returning home the first couple of years, but the arrival of the Queen of Tarts made it an easy temptation to succumb to.

What about you?

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