I’ve spent years avoiding vices other than a short, obsessive period with blue and white china in the 90's. Some will say, "Hey, good for you Christine, your body's a temple!”, while others will say, “Too bad, you’ve missed a heck of a lot of fun!” Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid the grip of alcohol, other than a handful of times at rug school when I let my hair down, especially one year with Susan Leslie, Susie Stevenson and a bottle of Sambuca, but like Vegas, what happens there, stays there.
Personally, I just never liked the taste of the stuff so why bother? And then there's the fact that you have to drink more than once a year to build a tolerance or you just end up a blathering fool. Embarrassingly, after one or two drinks I was always under the table, or on it dancing, but that’s another story for another time. Like a good wine, I mellowed over the years, and slowly developed a taste for the fermented grape, so now I occasionally tip my elbow at dinner, social functions and at times, just because.
I also managed to get to my fifties without getting hooked on the other liquid vice...coffee. Growing up in our household, hot beverages had never been that prevalent so it never crossed my mind later in life. Besides, back then, it was mostly instant coffee and that was pretty nasty. To me it tasted and looked like dirty bathwater, not that I was ever that dirty or inclined to drink from the tub, but comparatively, after drinking today’s coffees, most will admit that the yesteryear’s pale, chemical imitation really wasn’t very pleasant.
And remember Coffee-mate? The cream coloured powder you stirred in as a substitute for canned milk to reduce calories? That’s actually ground rock folks, Feldspar to be exact, according to my geologist hubby…yum yum! And canned milk wasn’t anything to jump up and down about either; my lips just curled thinking about it. Nothing back then inspired a second cup!
I will admit I tried a cup or two over the years, but I was never a fan of the open pot coffee, the percolator or the automatic drip but when hubby, a seasoned coffee drinker, bought a Bodum a while ago, I started seeing the merits of an occasional brew with its full bodied richness and silky
smoothness. The beans he liked were of good quality and ground at home; The Laughing Whale, Kicking Horse and Just Us dark roasts are a few of our favorites, freshly ground without all the chemicals and preservatives that can be found in some brands. It was a slow love affair, a coffee here and there in a good restaurant, sipping a bit out of hubby’s cup at breakfast and gradually the acquired taste became part of my daily routine. When I discovered 18% cream, I was well on the road to addiction and coffee became a necessary starter for the day.
About a month ago I bought a Keurig Platinum Coffee machine for the shop. Not so much for the coffee, it was a decision made for the convenience factor. We used to make the occasional automatic drip potful and so much was thrown away and of course, after it sits for more than an hour it turns into paint stripper. And, then there’s the cleanup, disposing of soggy grinds and wet filters and so on. Bonnie likes her coffee on the weak side, I like it strong and Shane is somewhere in-between, so one pot didn’t satisfy the varied palettes. At the evening hook-ins some wanted decaf while others didn’t, so it seemed like a bother and we usually went without. So now, the magical Keurig will cater to the individual taste buds with one of several selections; mild, medium, dark, decaf, no fuss and no mess. And oh yes, convenience aside, it makes an excellent cup of Joe. This dream machine also brews tea, hot chocolate and a delightful pure apple cider that makes the shop smell all festive and cozy.
So we were at Costco today and I bought a second unit as a Christmas prezzie for our home.
Hubby never minds grinding the coffee beans, boiling the kettle, pouring the water into the Bodum, waiting four to five minutes before you push down the press, but I’m a bit of a princess and like the thought of quick and simple, press a button, no work involved other than selecting a coffee pod, pulling a mug out of the cupboard and setting it on the tray. In less than 30 seconds your lips are sipping a bit of heaven, feeling the warmth of the china cup cradled in your hand while the aromatic steam tantalizes your senses. Tomorrow morning, I’ll curl up on the
sofa with the four best darn pups in the world and plan my day, and it is my day in every sense of the word, because fifty four years ago I came into this world. I'll begin the celebration while drinking my first home brewed Keurig dark roast coffee. It doesn’t get much better than this!