Getting a blogging audience to fill out a survey is like getting college students to do homework: difficult, even with bribery. Thanks to those who partook and shared your thoughts on our blog, as well as your best coffee stories (or tea, as the case may be). The consensus is that people like the blog a lot (thank you!), want more ways to interact (stay tuned!), and aren’t wild about the J&L Chats (we’re strategizing on this one). Thanks again!
Part of the survey, for you ingrates who just read the blog without expecting to do any homework (gah!), was to share a good coffee story. Here are some of them:
Sitting at McDonald’s trying to decide if I should quit grad school or suck it up and finish, when one of the employees came over and said, “We just recalibrated the machine and have to make a frappuccino to see if it’s working properly. Here, you look like you could use another,” and gave me a free frozen coffee.
- Rebecca, a brand new GRAD SCHOOL QUITTA! And congratulations to her. What an awesome story: the frappuccino gods clearly smile on her wise choice.
I went for coffee with a classmate that was trying to flirt with me and in order to connect with me because we were very different in so many ways, he decided to portray that me being a Catholic and he being Protestant was so not a big deal, so while drinking our coffee, he was all the time telling me stories about how the British killed Catholics, hilarious.
What a crazy courtship strategy. The violent, historical rift between our religions will be healed through the power of mocha. Great story!
It was Davis, California, July 31, 1999. I know the date with precision because it was the day I needed to move out of my apartment. I had to clean it top to bottom to win back my security deposit, a feat that would require a roll of paper towels, a can of Easy-Off, bleach, pulling an all-nighter, and using my painterly skills to disguise a rather large burn in the kitchen linoleum.
Knowing my narcoleptic tendencies and the amount of energy required to clean the whole apartment and perform cosmetic repairs, I decided a triple shot of espresso would be just the thing to get me through the night. I went to Cafe Roma, the local cafe of ill repute, for caffeinated beverage. Bad idea, but I wouldn’t know that until later.
I cleaned the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, vacuumed my room, bleached the fridge, and was working on cleaning the oven when my stomach started feeling a little funny. The situation deteriorated quickly as my body tried every way it knew how to get rid of the noxious substance I had ingested after dinner. My very drunk and totally useless subletter/friend came home at 3 a.m. and found me shaking and sweat-soaked, curled in a fetal position on the kitchen floor with the spins, feeling drunker than he was. That was my all-time coffee low point.*
But that’s not what you asked for.
If you want a cheesy Folgers feel-good coffee moment, maybe it was the Christmas when I was 21 and mom took me to Vienna, where she had been a 21-year-old Fulbright scholar back in the 1960s. She took me to Cafe Hawelka, which had been her regular haunt as a student (look it up online – it’s a cool place, and she was right about the decor). When we walked in, she exclaimed that she thought the dark red velvet on the booths was the same fabric that had been there when she was a student. The walls looked like they’d been shellacked with nicotine, the legacy of 65 years of cigarette smoking intellectuals frequenting the cafe. We had coffee and sachertorte and bonded, sort of, as much as you can bond with a…I guess maybe this would be more one of HER best coffee moments because I spent most of my twenties trying to evade what I perceived to be her pathological need for closeness, telling her about my friends’ lives so she’d think she knew something about my life, while I knew she knew nothing meaningful about it. Vienna was great, and going there with my mom provoked a lot of internal conflict in my only slightly post-adolescent self. Now, we are really far away from coffee, but you know — Vienna, Freud, psychoanalysis, hostile relationship with Mom — it all makes sense in my head.
…okay, so really, I got nothing special. I just like to go down the street every morning, get my Bottomless Mug of crappy Bruegger’s decaf, and take it with me to work to drink in peace and quiet while I edit videos and read about the end of the world in the New York Times online.
* I did get my whole $900 security deposit back, so the story has a happy ending.
PS: Don’t tell my mom about my subterfuge. That’s still my 21 year old me’s secret.
OMG Katherine, have you considered an alternative career to midwifery? Because this is so funny.
I’ve recently reignited a long held love of General Foods International Coffees. I remember thinking they were SUPER fancy when I was a kid. Now I realize they are basically hot chocolate and will not transport me to Gay Pareeeeee. I still drink it though because it’s freaking delicious. One or two cups a week. Yay!
What was that waiter’s name, Megan??
And then there was just general coffee love, with comments like this:
Oh, coffee. You make my stomach hurt (budding ulcer?) but I love you anyway. Any moments with coffee are good for me. Especially with frothed milk.
Coffee is my daily ritual. One day I’ll add in other rituals like exercise.
There are too many best coffee moments to list. I desperately love my coffee, morning, afternoon, late evening, any time.
There’s so many great coffee moments in my life (probably because I drink too much coffee). Most recently it was at a place called Catastrophe Lake. It was about 7 in the morning (I wouldn’t have been up if I didn’t have a freakin’ early bird of a baby) and my hubby, with baby strapped to his body, and I wandered down from the cabin to sit quietly on the dock sipping our coffees. It was pure heaven.
You think I can single out one story? I need coffee too much to focus!
We also had folks who were just so excited to fill out a survey, they couldn’t help themselves, even though coffee is not part of their life! They shared stories like this:
I wish I liked coffee (love the smell, abhor the taste, perhaps I should have started early like Holly. However I adore chai tea and other things at Starbucks. .
I don’t drink coffee — I’m a tea lover. I would say my best tea moment was (is, since it happens a lot) brewing my first cup of wonderful Assam tea and then sitting down with a good book. Simple things in life make me happy .
I don’t drink coffee. Can you believe it? Mother of 2! (I eat a lot of chocolate and caramels).
I dislike coffee but I love Starbucks! Maddy takes dance at Nolte on the Coralville strip, which is right next to Starbucks, so every Thursday afternoon I pick her up from school (rushing after my own class lets out, of course), and then we get Starbucks and hang out for an hour until dance starts. It’s one of my favorite times of the week, because we have nowhere to be — we’re already there. We just chill and talk and make up funny accents. Then she leaves her half-eaten snack in the back of my car and it starts to stink. But that’s to be expected.
And now the coffee story of our WINNER, Angela!
Coffee can be a pain in the rear…my kids have a knack for spilling it (truthfully, so do I). I have cleaned countless cups out of the carpet, sopped it from the floor of my van (slow down on that I-80/I-380 interchange), and tried to figure out how to get it off of my 12-foot ceiling. I rarely get to drink it hot, or while sitting down. And yet, I make it every day, because every day needs coffee.
Angela wins a $10 gift card to Starbucks (or, I guess, any local coffee place of her preference since she’s an Iowa gal like me).
Thanks for your feedback. It will be used to make MN even more thrillingly wonderful. And now, back to my coffee.