Hot Coffee

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. ~ T.S. Eliot

I have more coffee cups than I can count.

Okay, not really. I can count pretty high…. but I have a lot. A whole shelf full of them. Maybe a shelf and a half when they are all clean and actually on the shelf. That doesn’t happen very often, though.

Some were presents, given for birthdays or our wedding. Some were souvenirs of places we’ve been through, stopped at, or stayed for a while. Many of them I collected while in graduate school, when coffee was a constant presence to fuel years of too-long days of studying.

Some of them are so special that I hardly ever use them, most notably the delicate tiny cups that I inherited with my “good china” from my mother, a beautiful set of Haviland blue garland. Those fragile cups never get taken out of the packaging except for company. Silly I realize.

My husband and folks that know me well say that can tell my mood at fifty paces just by the coffee cup I use each morning. If it’s saying-free or one of good humor, all is well. If the morning is off to a rough start, I’m more likely to have my “attitude” mugs — the ones with the pithy platitudes brazenly stuck across them. My favorite one of those kind is my Mary Engelbreit mug, pictured to the left.

Mornings for me start with a cup of hot coffee, but it is never enjoyed more than on a crisp autumn morning, stepping out into the invigorating air, mug in hand, sipping warmth against the nearly-frost temperatures of a just-dawn morning. I’m not a big fan of stylish coffee. I can only do basic, minimal flavorings. My favorite of the moment is Wolfgang Puck’s Jamaica-me-crazy, which has just the tiniest hint of coconut in it.

I got my Keurig about a year ago and am still in love with it. Being able to fix a fresh hot cup on a moment’s notice was worth the price. And I enjoy trying out different k-cup types, but was also quite thrilled to discover that my favorite Folgers also comes in conveniently packaged k-cups for my everyday morning sipping. Fall also brings a return of pumpkin spice coffee, another favorite. But otherwise, I rarely indulge in flavored coffees. I tend not to frequent Starbucks or Caribou, in part because they cost more than I want to spend on a coffee. But then again, I’m not a fan of instant or “cheap” coffees either.

I’m not a coffee snob. I just like a good, hot, strong cup of coffee. Sweetener and creamer, of course. I get that honestly from my parents, though. My mom used sweetener and my dad creamer, and since I grew up snitching sips equally from both, I got hooked on the taste of them combined and, even forty years later, I still prefer it that way.

And I’ve had so much over the years, most often I can enjoy a cup in the evening and it is only rarely that it keeps me awake. Occasionally it does, but not as often as I sneak a cup after the sun sets. Autumn evenings were made to curl up with a cup of joe and a good book.

So how do you like your coffee? Go get yourself a cup and tell us all about it! Let me know if you need a cup to put it in…. I’ve got plenty!

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