Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sweet Nectar of Life

The wafting aroma drifts into my bedroom at 3:45 am, just before my alarm goes off. (DEEP INHALE) Ahh, that's the good stuff. The drip drip drip of that amazing beverage gets the covers thrown off and my feet on the floor faster than any buzz of my alarm could ever hope to. It's the most effective alarm clock I could own--the standard drip coffeepot--with a few added features.

I shop for coffee pots like most might shop for cars. I don't just head to Target for the cheapest model. I shop around. I have an idea of what I want and what I expect it to cost. True, I can't barter, but if one brand just doesn't have it, I'll not hesitate to head to the next.

My coffee pot must have an auto feature. I set it up the night before, push the button, and when I'm up in the morning, my coffee greets me warmly and aromatically. My coffee pot must be thermal. There's nothing worse than bitter, burnt coffee (exept maybe Starbucks, oh, wait, that is bitter coffee). My coffee pot must be LARGE. I'll be drinkin' it all day and it has to keep up with me. I have one at home (ready when I get up), and one in my office (sadly, no auto feature, but I was going for size with this one), that's small enough that I can be sure to finish the entire pot by 4pm.

My coffee must be Gloria Jeans or Millstone. My father would say that the coffee I drink is not really coffee. I can't stand it black and I like it flavored. Not to say I won't drink the standard French Roast or Breakfast Blend, but when I shop for coffee, I like the more interesting choices like Coconut and Blueberry Morning, or Chocolate Velvet. Mmmm.

I prefer liquid creams (though I used to be satisfied with just plain skim milk) and mostly use regular sugar (though my spreading backside has caused me to switch to Splenda on occasion--every calorie counts).

You might often (ok, very often) find me at a Starbucks, though I will NEVER AGAIN buy their regular coffee. I'm fine with the fru fru drinks, the frappacinos and lattes and what not, but just plain old Starbucks coffee? Yuck!

I'm not a caffeine addict. In fact, when I can find flavored decaf, I always buy it. Caffeine does not keep me awake or wake me up in the morning. It's that sweet smell, filling my nostrils and the promise of a familiar flavor that openes my eyes and stifles my yawns.

I miss Gloria Jeans. The closest one to San Diego is about an hour away. My last trip to St. Louis left me disappointed as I made a hopeful trip to the St. Louis Galleria and found that the place where I first combined two of my greatest loves (coffee and my now husband) had been replaced with some horrific version of a soda shop. SIGH! What is the world coming to?

On a typicall day, I consume approximately 15-20 eight ounce cups of coffee. My ten to twelve wakes me up and I drink about half of it before work, pour another cup into my to-go mug, which conveniently plugs into my cigarette lighter, keeping it nice and toasty for my half hour commute. When I get to my office, I brew another four cups in my small Mr. Coffee, which is gone usually by lunch. I might brew another pot for an afternoon snack. Whatever's left of that pot goes into my to-go mug for the drive home. After dinner, I might curl up with a book and what's left of my morning pot. The thermal caraffe has kept it steaming all day long. Add a little chocolate syrup and a spoonful of whipped cream and I've got the perfect dessert. Once that pot is empty, I set it up for the morning, push the button and go to sleep knowing that the same familiar smell will awaken me without fail.

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