Are You Gulping or Sipping?

This year I’ve suffered through a major challenge. No. Not writing, finances or the day job. I’m talking about the important challenge: Faulty Coffee Maker Syndrome. After my overpriced and underperforming Keurig died, I decided not to get another one. It was time to revert back to a simpler time. Forget Mr. Coffee or an electric percolator. I’m talking pure coffee goodness. Stuffing the last of my caffeine deprived dignity in the car, I went to the store and picked up a twenty dollar French Press.

It was love at first sip. Oh the rich, fresh flavor! Sure making French Press coffee is a little high maintenance on a Monday morning, but can you really beat the taste? Of course the press I bought was a little large for one person. I couldn’t quite get that perfect amount for one cup. Why is that a big deal? I was raised by a Depression Era Baby. Throwing good food or drink out is not an option. Leave the grounds soaking in the liquid too long it just gets nasty. I tried putting the leftovers in a thermos, but never drank the remains anyway.

I neglected to mention my job requires me to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30am on the dot. The cold weather rolled around and I just got lazy. My French Press wasn’t as magical on a frigid Monday morning as it had been during the summer. I broke down and bought a four cup Mr. Coffee. While it gets the job done, the coffee is lousy.

Then the worst happened. My beloved French Press (though not magical, still made dang good coffee) died. Oh the horror! I rushed through snow and ice to grab another one. All they had left on the shelves was a three cup press imported from France. Thirty bucks for a third of the coffee. WTH France?!

Desperate times. I bought it and channeled my Depression Era Dad the entire ride home. Thirty bucks for a tiny little coffee maker. What am I made of money? Grump. Grump. Grump. The voice got worse when I made that first cup and it didn’t fill up my big American mega bucket I call a coffee mug. Grump. Grump. Grump.

Then I tasted the coffee. Saying this was the second best cup of coffee I’d ever had is the honest truth. My best cup of coffee was Cuban Coffee at a restaurant in Key West, but I digress. This coffee ambrosia was too good to gulp. I slowed down. I sipped the coffee and actually tasted its subtle flavors for the first time. Then it occurred to me. When did gulping down a hasty bowl of coffee become our norm? What happened to the eight ounces of comfort we used to sip as we sat around the breakfast table with our families? Or savoring our coffee in the peace of a sunrise?

Life with all its complexities marches on. I’ll admit some days I still gulp. For those times I’m able to sip and savor, I set the mega bowl aside and take out my French Press and little cappuccino cups.

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