make ready, lose count
of scoops small step of faith
great start but no notes
My day starts the night before around 10:30pm.
At 10:30pm, I get the coffee maker set up to make coffee the next morning.
I am a coffee nut but a strict orthodox coffee nut.
I will enjoy a Starbucks or any other boutique coffee or latte or cafe au lait.
I will put up with the strange arrogance of vente, grande and whatever else I have to say when I want to order a small coffee with milk.
I will go so far as to say that the best cup of coffee I ever ordered was the Ho Chi Minh City at Cafe Amico in Suwanee, Georgia.
Best cup of store bought coffee anyway.
When you get right down to it, it all tastes the same after the third sip.
I have used the kuerig.
I think we have owned several.
But, dog gone it, I want a pot of coffee.
For a real orthodox coffee nut, the test is not the specialty coffees but the daily coffee in the pot at home.
I know I have quoted this before but in the book of short stories that led to the play and movie, “Life with Father,” Clarence Day describes a breakfast with his Dad.
A breakfast with bad coffee.
Mr. Day, Jr., writes:
At breakfast, Father would put down his coffee-cup in disgust and roar:
“Slops! Damn it, slops!
Does she call this confounded mess coffee?
Isn’t there a damned soul in Westchester County who knows how to make coffee but me?
I swear to God I can’t even imagine how she concocts such atrocities.
I come down to this room hungry every morning, and she tries to fill me with slops!
Take it away, I tell you!” he would bellow to the waitress.
“Take this accursed mess away!”
And while she and Delia were frantically hurrying to make a fresh pot, he would savagely devour his omelet and bacon, and declare that his breakfast was ruined.
When I first read this story years and years ago I felt I understood just what Clarence Day, Sr., meant.
If my morning coffee isn’t ‘right’ (no need for the word just here, not ‘just right’ just ‘right’) then the rest of the day is in jeopardy if not gone.
I like to say that God created the heavens and the stars and so separated the Day from the Night so there would be morning.
I like to say that God created morning so there would be coffee.
The Bible says we are created in God’s image.
Therefore it can be said that God must have a nose.
If God has a nose, God can smell.
Note the many verses in the Bible that describe sacrifices making a pleasing aroma.
Grilled lamb or steak with clouds of savory smoke drifting up to Heaven.
If there are pleasing aroma’s in Heaven then they must have coffee there.
I told you I was orthodox in my beliefs.
My day starts then when I get the coffee maker set up the night before.
For such a important part of my day tomorrow I can be cavalier about how I go about preparing the coffee maker.
It would make sense that I have a precise regimen that I follow with exactitude but, being me, I don’t.
The brand of coffee is not carved in stone.
I switch from time to time.
Sometimes just to change.
Sometimes based on price.
Sometimes based on availablity.
Right now I am using Café Bustelo.
I don’t worry about the water.
It doesn’t bother me that it will sit all night.
I guess it’s going to sit all night somewhere.
Here in the low country of South Carolina there are water towers so the city water delivery system IS based on gravity.
But the area is dotted with GRAVITY ASSIST PUMPSTATIONS at ground level to make sure water can make it up and into the multi story apartment buildings.
Then the filter goes in place.
Then I measure out the coffee.
I am making eight cups.
I will have 2 or 3 in the morning following the ‘endless cup’ method of continually warming up a cup of coffee.
My wife will have cup.
And then later that day I will make up a large iced cafe au lait with the leftovers.
There was a time when it was thought I should limit myself to a single cup of coffee.
So I did.
After I went out and bought the biggest cafe au lait mug I could find.
It was like carrying around a punch bowl.
To make eight cups of coffee takes 8 level scoops of Cafe Bustelo.
This is where the fun happens.
With everything that is riding on this simple act I cannot tell how often I lose count.
I hear a noise.
I think of a noise.
I think of something.
I look back at the TV.
Something happens and I am standing there with a scoop in one hand, can of coffee in the other, staring into the coffee maker and wondering … 5 … 7… 3?
I look at the coffee already in the filter and there is really no help to determine mass versus measurement from the size of the pile of coffee.
Then the descision.
Dump it out and start over which is the safe way.
The sane way.
Or roll the dice.
Add another measure or two of coffee and hope for the best.
Even though this has immense bearing on how my day will go this is the usual route that I choose.
I say to myself ‘Well, it is either going to be too strong or too weak, but there it is.”
I close up the coffee maker.
Put the coffee away.
I go to bed wondering, what will I pour out in the morning.
As I type this I think BOY AM I DUMB.
So here is what bothers me.
Once in awhile I make the worst miscalculation and the coffee is weak,
This is the worst.
Slops! Damn it, slops!
And it can’t be fixed.
Sometimes the coffee is way to strong.
I stay with the idea that the coffee is strong enough if you dropped a dime into coffee and you can’t see the dime at the bottom of your cup.
Why you would drop a dime into your coffee, well, I digress.
My brother Tim told me that with my coffee, the dime dissolves.
Then there are those mornings.
Those mornings when I know the night before, I messed up and guessed how much coffee to put in.
And the coffee that morning is not too weak, it is not too strong.
The coffee is right.
When that happens, my day starts with this thought.
THIS IS JUST RIGHT, BUT HOW MUCH COFFEE DID I USE?