Just can’t get it right

There are some things in life you’re never going to be good at. No matter how hard you try, or how many people show you the right way, or how many books and articles you read about it, there will be things in life you can’t grasp the fundamentals of or will just never be good at. If that thing you can’t do isn’t something that comes up on a regular basis you can go through life with hardly anyone knowing you can’t do “whatever”. But if that thing is something very simple and comes up often, it’s best to just come right out and admit you can’t do it.

I can’t make a good pot of coffee to save my life.

You’d think someone like me who is addicted to coffee would be able to make a pot. Now I know this is the simplest of tasks, and I follow all the steps required. I mean seriously, how hard is it to put the right number of scoops of coffee in the brewer and then add the correct amount of water? I got those things down pat. It’s just that when I do it the coffee that comes out after brewing is vile tasting.

It makes no sense that would happen, but it indeed does. I’m not the only one who thinks the coffee I make is terrible, so does Trish. Just this morning when she left for her cult Weight Watcher’s meeting I was still sleeping, so she didn’t make any coffee. When I got up, I put together a pot, and drank the vile concoction that came out. When Trish returned home she poured herself a cup. Three sips later, she dumped it out.

I wasn’t kidding.

There have been multiple times that Trish has stood next to me and watched me get the pot ready to brew, and said I did it all correctly. And then we end up with a pot full of crap. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet, it happens all the time.

What’s even worse about this is many years ago my niece, who was about age 6 at the time, slept over at our apartment. When we all got up in the morning and Trish said she was making coffee, “M” said she made coffee for her mom and dad all the time and could do it. So Trish watched her, and she got it right. Of course, it tasted fine.


Coffee: Elixir of the gods

Most people recall life changing moments instantly. They can remember their first kiss, their first job, their first beer, their first car, their first…ummm…let’s see, it’s a family blog…ahhh…”partner”. The memories of these things always stay fresh in their minds. So it’s an oddity that there is a major “first” in my life that I can’t recall anything at all about.

My first cup of coffee.

Now in life experiences it probably isn’t as important as all those other “firsts”, but it still ranks up there for me. I can’t recall a time since high school that I didn’t have at least one cup in a day. Heck, I can’t recall the last time I had less than three. And yet the circumstances of that first cup are a mystery to me.

I used to drink so much coffee that when I was first dating Trish any time we were driving around and I had less than a quarter cup left we would stop so I could get another coffee. Yeah, I was that bad. Good thing it wasn’t some sort of expensive illegal drug I was addicted to. But like any drug eventually Trish, who was mostly a Diet Coke drinker at the time, decided to try coffee because I was always drinking one. Now she drinks way more coffee than I do. Granted I’ve cut back in recent years, but still.

One of the things I like about coffee is it’s cheap. Now I’m not talking about Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, in my opinion those places are grossly overpriced. I’m talking about Cumberland Farms, McDonald’s, and the like where a large coffee is a buck. Can’t be beat. And don’t be fooled, the coffee isn’t different enough to warrant the price difference.

Years ago the price of coffee skyrocketed due to some “whatever” in South America, and Trish vowed she wasn’t buying any at the supermarket anymore. So when we went shopping and got to the aisle where the coffee was she was going to push the cart right past the display. I reached over, grabbed a can, and tossed it into the cart. She went to grab it out, saying it was too expensive. I then told her to figure out what the cost per cup would be on the coffee, and then what the cost per cup would be for the half-dozen two liter bottles of soda we had.

She stood there for a moment, looked at the bottles of soda, and then back at me, and laughed. The coffee was still incredibly cheap. The best part of the story is while I was telling Trish how cheap the coffee still was there was a woman who was standing in front of the display listening to us, trying to decide if she was going to buy the now “expensive” coffee. She also laughed, reached over and grabbed a can, and tossed it her cart. She also had a lot soda in her cart.

My preference is just regular coffee, preferably hot but iced is also acceptable. No sickly sweet flavors. If I want to taste “Caramel Swirl” or “Toasted Almond”, I’ll buy ice cream. Cinnamon, blueberry, and mint chocolate chip are flavors for Pop-Tarts and not coffee. I once saw a pot that was labeled “Maple Cream”. That sounds like something you put on pancakes.

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy whatever vile combination of flavored coffees you like, nor should you not plunk down way too much money at some of these overpriced franchises. I’m saying it’s not for me. I like my coffee in as big a cup as I can find, with a touch of milk and sweetener. When it comes to coffee, you do what you need to do to make yourself happy.

Just don’t try to steal mine…